Kansas Legislative History Research Guide
Strategically located in Kansas' capital city, Washburn Law Library has developed a legislative research collection to complement resources readily available at the Capitol building. This research guide will assist you in using the library's resources effectively and, if more extensive research is required, will direct you to pertinent offices in the Capitol Complex.
Kansas Statutes Annotated
Researching Kansas legislative history should begin with the Kansas Statutes Annotated (KFK 30 .A2). At the end of each statutes in the Kansas Statutes Annotated (K.S.A.) there is a history section. The history of the statute lists the session law that created the statute and any subsequent session laws that amended the statute. The history section also lists the "source of prior law," which refers to any Kansas General Statutes that preceded the K.S.A.
West's Kansas Statutes AnnotatedResearching Kansas legislative history can also begin with West's Kansas Statutes Annotated. This version of the Kansas Satutes has been available since 2008. At the end of each statute is a section entitled Historical & Statutory Notes which lists the session laws that created the statute and any subsequent session laws that amended the statute. In this section you will also find a list of previous statute numbers and the "source of prior law."
Session Laws and Bills
After finding the history of a statute in the Kansas Statutes Annotated the researcher should look at the bill in the Session Laws of Kansas. Each volume of the Session Laws contains bills passed during the legislative session of that year. Session laws are organized by year and chapter number.
From the session laws, researchers can see strike-outs, additions, and modifications to the statute. The researcher may gain some insight into the intent of the legislature.
Kansas Legislative Interim Studies
The Report on Kansas Legislative Interim Studies (KFK 20 .L4) is filed with the Legislative Coordinating Council each December and contains the reports of all Special Committees. These reports help identify major issues to be addressed in the upcoming legislative session. Washburn law library has copies from 1966, as well as a "Subject Index for the report of Legislative Interim, Legislative Council and Special Legislative Committees". Copies of the most recent three years are in Reference and older editions are kept in the state statute section on the 3rd floor. Earlier interim committee reports are available at the Kansas State Library from 1934.
Committee Minutes & Reports
Committee minutes contain a summary of statements by committee members, witness testimony, and written testimony. Often, the written testimony is complete and attached to the minutes. The quality of committee minutes may vary greatly. Minutes of committee hearings from 1970 (standing and interim committees, usually not conference committees), are available for inspection in the Department of Legislative Administrative Services (296-2391, 5th floor of Capitol, room 551-north).
Legislative Committee Information maintained by the Kansas Legislative Research Department.
Legislation in Progress
When researhing legislative history it is also important to know if there are current bills being considered in the legislature that may change the statute.
The cumulative and weekly Senate and House Actions Report and Subject Index Report (KFK 10.S36) The current issue is on reserve. A few recent yearly issues are at reference on the second floor. Older issues for each session, since 1982, are kept on the third floor in the Kansas Statute section.
Final issues for earlier years are available at the Kansas State Library (3rd floor of the Capitol) from 1976. The Kansas State Library also has bill locators for 1965-1975 that perform the same function as the final action reports. The State Library provides up-to-the-minute bill status information each legislative session and can be contacted at 296-3296 in Topeka and at 1-800-432-3919 statewide.
Other Useful Publications
Legislative Procedure in Kansas, published by the Kansas Legislative Research Department, is a fairly detailed reference guide of legislative procedure.
Kansas Legislative Handbook (Ref. Desk KFK 421 .G68 year), published by the Government Research Service, contains current biographical sketches of each legislator, describes legislative organizations and procedure, provides directory information for legislative staff and support agencies, discusses lobbying, and contains a bibliography.
State Legislative Sourcebook: A Resource Guide to Legislative Information in the Fifty States (Ref. JK 2495. S689), published annually by Lynn Hellebust. Each state section contains entries on the state's legislative organization and process, information about individual legislators, and where to find legislative documents for the state.
Kansas Legislature: provides full text of bills, vetoed bills by the governor, bill tracking, bill subject index, bills in conference or by member, details of actions introduced by member/committee and all legislation introduced by member/committee. In addition, house and senate journals are including along with house and senate calendars.
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