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'Legislative Bills'

Mar 04

Legislative Committee Reports (Interim Reports)

Posted to KGI Online Library on March 4, 2016 at 11:49 AM by Bill Sowers

Each year the Kansas Legislative Research Department publishes a report (or reports) for the upcoming legislative session with summaries of the activities and recommendations of legislative standing committees, special committees, joint committees and other committees, commissions and task forces.  These reports cover key issues for the session ahead.

The Committee Reports are prepared primarily for the use of the Legislature.  Coordination of the reports and appointment of the special committees is done by the Legislative Coordinating Council.  The reports are also known as Interim Reports as they are the outcome of work done during the "interim"... that time between legislative sessions... about May to December. 

Though initially for the use of the Legislature the Committee Reports serve as an excellent "barometer" in gauging topics and issues important in the session to come.  Older Reports can serve as an auxiliary tool in historical research on the activities of state government as well.

The State Library of Kansas' KGI Online Library has scanned many of the Committee Reports back to 1978 so far with the goal of providing these reports back to the 1930s. 

You can view the reports online at the KGI Online Library website and see current and past issues being worked through and presented to legislative sessions.... all from the comfort of your computer!

For more information on legislative committees check out the online booklet, "Legislative Procedure in Kansas" (2006).  Information on committees starts on page 20 of this booklet.

Dec 18

Governors' News Releases

Posted to KGI Online Library on December 18, 2015 at 2:45 PM by Bill Sowers

News releases by government officials are something akin to a "daily diary" of government agencies and administrators.  They are usually short announcements of activities, programs, memorials, calls to action, appointments, bill signings or vetoes, funding availabilities or opinions on federal, local or international news events.  They can be used to express approval or disapproval of legislation or court rulings.  On a lighter side they can also promote the participation of government in cultural or social events such as book fairs, egg hunts, tree lightings and music festivals.

An avid researcher of political history is well advised to look through these seemingly ephemeral, newsy notices.  They are often helpful in giving a sense of what government is about.

The Kansas Government Information (KGI) Online Library has press releases for three Kansas governors online:
The news releases are collected and added to KGI at the end of each year so we'll be adding Governor Sam Brownback's 2015 News Releases in January, 2016.  The current media releases of Governor Brownback can be found at: 

https://www.governor.ks.gov/media-room/media-releases

Dec 04

Kansas Legislative Journals Online

Posted to KGI Online Library on December 4, 2015 at 11:40 AM by Bill Sowers

One of the most important tools for researchers of Kansas government and political history are the Journals of the Kansas Senate and Kansas House of Representatives.  The Legislative Journals are a detailed description of the activities of the Kansas Legislature during legislative sessions, special sessions and budget sessions. 

The KGI Online Library has a growing collection of scanned Senate/House Journals online.  At present we have volumes available from 1861-1862, 1913-1966.  This covers the initial years of statehood and the Civil War, the two world wars, the Great Depression and Dust Bowl Days, the Cold War, the post-WWII days of development, the Korean and Vietnam conflicts and the beginnings of social change in the 1950s and 1960s.

OK... so these volumes are not the sort of thing most of us would curl up with for a good read... BUT... they are indexed and text searchable allowing viewers to seek out issues, people and events that shaped not just Kansas but the nation as a whole during six decades.

A description of the collection with a link to the documents is available at:

http://cdm16884.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/singleitem/collection/p16884coll95/id/0/rec/1

Once there, click on the link at the top to access the collection itself.  Some volumes were combined Senate/House Journals while most were separated by each legislative body.  Also... for many years the State Legislature only met for regular session during odd numbered years. 

The Hathitrust Digital Library has the Kansas Senate and House Journals online from 1861-1921 filling the gap. House Journals, 1860-1921  and Senate Journals, 1861-1920 (The years listed on the Hathitrust pages are misleading.  Click on their links to see the full run of what's available)