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Constitution of Kansas


Kansas state capitol
Kansas state capitol

The present constitution of Kansas was approved by the electorate in 1859, about 16 months before the state entered the Union. Proposed amendments to the constitution must be approved by two-thirds of the state legislature or by a constitutional convention. To become effective they must be approved by a majority of the electorate voting on the amendment in a general election.

The head of the executive branch of the state government is the governor, who is elected to a four-year term jointly with the lieutenant governor and may succeed to office once. The governor may veto legislation, but the legislature can override a veto by a two-thirds majority vote in each legislative house. Other elected executive officials include the secretary of state, the attorney general, the treasurer of state, and the commissioner of insurance, who are also elected to four-year terms. There are many state boards and commissions, most of whose members are appointed to office by the governor.

Legislative and judicial powers


The state legislature is made up of two houses: a 40-member Senate and a 125-member House of Representatives. State senators are elected to four-year terms, and state representatives are elected to two-year terms. Regular sessions of the legislature are convened annually at Topeka on the second Monday in January. The governor is authorized to call special sessions. There is a legislative coordinating council composed of leading members of both houses of the legislature.

The highest court in Kansas


The highest court in Kansas is the Supreme Court, consisting of seven justices. Supreme court justices are appointed by the governor from a list of people nominated by a committee. After the first year in office, judges must be confirmed by voters in a general election. The office of chief justice is filled by the justice who is senior in years of continuous service.

Local Government


Each of the state’s 105 counties is governed by a board of three to five commissioners, who are elected to four-year terms. The counties are divided into more than 1,300 townships, each of which is governed by an elected board made up of a trustee, a treasurer, and a clerk. Among the 627 incorporated municipalities, the most common type of municipal government is the mayor and council form. A number of cities have the council and city manager and commission forms. Kansas is represented in the Congress of the United States by four members in the House of Representatives and two members in the Senate, giving the state six electoral votes in presidential elections. "Kansas" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia

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