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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Jan 10

2019 Legislator Briefing Book

Posted on January 10, 2019 at 9:31 AM by Brett Rurode

The 2019 Legislator Briefing Book has been published.  The State Library of Kansas has a copy on our Kansas Government Information (KGI) Online Library:


Kansas Legislative Research Department also has a copy of their website:


Older volumes of the Briefing Book can be found online at the KGI Online Library at:


Topics in this year’s edition include:

Industrial Hemp

This article summarizes the current state of industrial hemp law in Kansas

State Water Plan Fund, Kansas Water Authority, and State Water Plan

The State Water Plan Fund receives revenue from a variety of fees and fines related to water use and pollution.

Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund

Methods used to calculate employer contributions, employee benefits, and the management of the Trust Fund are discussed in this article.

Mental Health Intervention Team Pilot Program

The goal of the Mental Health Intervention Team Pilot Program is to improve social-emotional wellness and outcomes for students by increasing schools access to counselors, social workers, and psychologists statewide.

School Finance and Recent Legislative Changes

This article provides an overview of school finance legislation enacted during the 2016 Special Session of the Legislature, as well as the Classroom Learning Assuring Student Success Act providing block grant funding for each school district for 2015-2016 and 2016-2017, and the Kansas School Equity and Enhancement Act, which was enacted during the 2017 Legislative Session.

School Safety and Security

The 2018 Legislature enacted provisions for school safety and security in the omnibus budget bill. These one-year provisions included grant funding for school safety, statewide standards for securing schools, and requiring school districts to adopt school safety plans.

Amusement Parks

This article summarizes the history and development of Kansas amusement park regulation, including insurance requirements and oversight of amusement rides.

Carrying of Firearms

The Legislature passed the Personal and Family Protection Act in 2006, allowing licensed persons to carry concealed weapons on and after January 2, 2007. In 2015, the Legislature voted to allow the concealed carrying of a firearm without a concealed carry permit issued by the State, as long as the individual is not prohibited from possessing a firearm under federal or state law. Permits to carry concealed weapons will continue to be issued to eligible applicants. The open carrying of firearms by persons 18 and older is legal unless otherwise prohibited by law or signage.

Legalization of Medical and Recreational Marijuana

The possession and use of medical marijuana is not legal in Kansas; however, there have been several bills introduced over the past 14 years to change the law. A summary of those bills and an overview of the medical and recreational marijuana laws in other states is provided.

Liquor Laws

This article summarizes liquor laws in Kansas, including changes made to liquor laws during the last four legislative sessions.

Sports Wagering

This article provides a brief overview of recent U.S. Supreme Court action, state action, and Kansas legislation related to sports wagering.

The Opioid Crisis

This article provides an overview of efforts to address the opioid crisis at the national and state level.

State Hospitals

This article provides an overview of current issues concerning the state hospitals, a history of recent legislation affecting the state hospitals, and a summary of state hospital financing.


This article summarizes the law concerning adoption of a minor, including recent legislation on this issue.

Death Penalty in Kansas

This article reviews the death penalty as it exists in Kansas, death penalty costs, notable court decisions, inmates in Kansas under sentence of death, and the status of the death penalty in other states.

Juvenile Services

This article summarizes the function of Juvenile Services, the history of juvenile justice reform in Kansas, and ongoing reform efforts.

Kansas Prison Population, Capacity, and Related Facility Issues

The population and capacity are discussed in terms of overall numbers as well as by gender and inmate classification. Issues regarding operating overcapacity are also discussed.

Sex Offenders and Sexually Violent Predators

This article reviews the Kansas Offender Registration Act, residency restrictions, the commitment of sexually violent predators, and court decisions regarding offender registration.

Election Security

This article examines the election vulnerabilities and summarizes election security activities being undertaken at the federal and state levels.

Post-election Audits

This article provides information on post-election audits and identifies the different types of post-election audits used in all 50 states.

Voter Registration and Identification

This article briefly summarizes the current status of law concerning voter registration requirements, including both national requirements and state requirements. The state practices of same day voter registration, online registration, preregistration, and voter identification requirements are discussed.

Kansas Laws to Eliminate Deficit Spending

This article contains information on various state laws and statutory sections that provide safeguards to prevent deficit financing.

Kansas Income Tax Reform

Beginning in 2012, the Kansas Legislature passed legislation enacting major changes to the Kansas individual income tax. Major legislation was passed in 2012, 2013, 2015, and 2017, with additional legislation being passed related to individual income tax reform in 2014.

Liquor Taxes

This article discusses the three tiers, or levels, of liquor taxation in Kansas.

Selected Tax Rate Comparisons

This article compares information used to calculate the tax base and tax rates between Kansas and selected states for various taxes. States compared include Kansas, Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Texas. Taxes compared include individual income tax, corporate income tax, sales tax, motor fuel tax, and cigarette tax.

Distracted Driving: State Laws

State responses to distracted driving include bans on using electronic devices while driving. Researchers have found links between distraction and driving errors and between device-use bans and reductions in the numbers of crashes.

Toll or Tax?

This article includes information on the Kansas Turnpike Authority, statutes governing its operation, and court decisions related to turnpike tolls. Utilities and Energy

Broadband Expansion

This article provides information about the efforts made by the federal government and state governments to deploy broadband across the country. These efforts include enacting legislation and forming various committees to study the issue and make recommendations to their respective governing authority.

Electric Utility Regulation and Ratemaking

This article discusses various regulations relating to electric utilities in Kansas and outlines the electric ratemaking process.

State Library of Kansas Reference
Reference: 785-296-2149
Legislative Hotline: 1-800-432-3919