From the Reference Desk...

This blog provides links to current resources to help you find what is new and noteworthy in the state of Kansas. State Library staff will highlight a topic of specific interest and supply links to important news and services in the state of Kansas.

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Oct 02

The Office of Governor of Kansas

Posted on October 2, 2017 at 10:15 AM by Brian Herder

Current Kansas Governor Sam Brownback has been appointed by President Trump to be the United States' Ambassador-at-large for Religious Freedom. Nothing is final, but assuming Mr. Brownback is confirmed by the US Senate and takes the position, Lieutenant Governor Jeff Colyer will assume the Governor's position for the rest of the term, which lasts until January 2019. Before that, in November 2018, will be the statewide general election for the next governor term. With that in mind, let's take a look at the position of governor of Kansas.

The governor is the elected head executive of the state government of Kansas. Major jobs of the governor include executing Kansas law, developing policies, appointing various statewide officials, resolving disputes within state government agencies, assembling a staff to help run the government, responding to crises, directing the militia (Kansas National Guard), and representing the state of Kansas to Kansans, Americans, and foreigners. Among the governor's major powers is the ability to veto passed legislation, which then requires a 2/3 vote in both houses of the Kansas Legislature to override. Since 1904 the governor has had the power to make line-item vetoes of budget items.

From 1860 until 1974, Kansas governors were elected to two-year terms. Sweeping constitutional changes to the Executive and Legislative Articles in 1972 changed numerous government officials' term-lengths, including the governor's, effective 1974. The governor's term is now four years, and there is a two-term consecutive term limit.

The main laws defining the governor's powers and duties are found first in Article One of the Kansas Constitution, and then in the Kansas statutes.

An online list of historical Kansas governors can be found at the State Library's website, along with Executive Orders since 2011.