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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.

Jun 14

Special Session

Posted on June 14, 2016 at 1:31 PM by Brett Rurode

A Special Session has been called and will begin on June 23rd.  The Legislative Procedure Manual states “the Governor may call a special session if the legislature whenever the Governor believes it warranted.”  They usually are called to address one or two important matters.  This year, the governor has called a Special Session to address school finance.

Important things to know:

  1. There is no specific time limit on a Special Session, but they typically take 2 to 3 days.
  2. New bill numbers will be introduced.  It is possible that the subject matter of a previous bill could come up, but the bill number will be different.
  3. Even though the Special Session is called to address school finance, other topics can come up.
  4. Legislators will not have office staff to answer questions and take messages. 
  5. During Special Session, the legislators are not allowed to accept campaign contributions.

KSA 25-4153a  

If you have any questions, please contact the State Library’s Legislative Hotline at 1-800-432-3924 

Special Sessions are permitted by the Kansas Constitution under Article One, Section 5:



State Library of Kansas Reference
Reference: 785-296-2149
Legislative Hotline: 1-800-432-3924

Jun 02

What are counties?

Posted on June 2, 2016 at 10:51 AM by Brian Herder

All of us know what county we live in, and that it's some sort of government, and definitely it involves taxes. But what are counties, anyway?

The Kansas state government is sovereign in Kansas, but carrying out local government functions from Topeka would be difficult, and Americans typically prefer local government to take care of local issues.

Kansas law defines what a Kansas county is in KSA 19-101.  The state of Kansas legally defines 105 geographic counties to govern local issues and enforce state law locally. Counties' powers are specifically prescribed by the state, as well as their bureaucratic structure.

Kansas counties have their own "capital city", known as the county seat.   

Kansas law addressing counties can be found in the Kansas Statutes under Chapter 18 - Counties and Chapter 19 - Counties and County Officers.

May 10

2016 Candidates

Posted on May 10, 2016 at 3:03 PM by Brett Rurode

Many Kansans are watching local elections this year as closely as they are watching the national elections.  With primaries just around the corner, you may want to keep an eye on who has registered as a candidate.  The Secretary of State lists the candidates here:


Advanced voting information and other important dates:


Find out if you are registered and where you need to go to vote:;jsessionid=AlBAsBO75pPXdiPsZfDDptLFrqkT9eYdBuV-T-7F.prim-ksvoterview1 


Helpful registration and voting forms: