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How to get involved with state government

  • Published Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013, at 8:31 p.m.
  • Updated Monday, Jan. 13, 2014, at 2:25 p.m.

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How to get involved with state government

Listen to address

Gov. Sam Brownback will give his State of the State address at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday. The speech will be broadcast on KPTS, Channel 8.

Track legislation

By computer: Find House and Senate calendars, listings of lawmakers and an explanation of how a bill becomes law at www.kslegislature.org.

You can search for bills by keywords or phrases and track a bill through the legislative process.

You also can listen to House and Senate sessions live.

By phone: Call the legislative hotline at 800-432-3924. Use the same number for TTY calls for the hearing impaired.

The hotline has information about legislative activity and documents, including bill introductions, sponsorships, amendments, status, history and other related legislative action.

Track spending

To examine where the state’s money comes from and how it is being spent, go to www.kansas.gov/kanview.

Lobby a legislator

You can find contact information for legislators on Page 12A today and at www.Kansas.com or www.kslegislature.org. The Wichita-area delegation and individual legislators also conduct several forums each session, usually on the weekends. Notices will be published in The Eagle.

Contact the governor

By mail: Office of the Governor, Capitol, 300 SW 10th Ave., Suite 241S, Topeka, KS 66612-1590

By phone: 877-579-6757 or 785-296-3232; for hearing impaired: 800-766-3777

By e-mail: governor@ks.gov

On Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/govsambrownback

On Twitter: @govsambrownback

Testify about a bill

If you feel strongly about a bill, you can speak before a committee assigned to study it. Contact the committee assigned to study the bill. You’ll find the information at www.kslegislature.org.

You’ll need written copies of your testimony. Ask how many copies to bring and how long you will be allowed to speak.

Committee members may ask questions, and committee decisions often may not be made the same day as the hearing.

Tips to be effective: Research the bill number and the bill’s status. Let the committee know if you have any expertise on the issue. Be brief.

View campaign contributions

Find out who donated money to your legislator through reports filed with the Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission. Go to www.kansas.gov/ethics/index.html and click on Campaign Finance on the left side of the screen, then click on View Submitted Forms & Reports.

Find a department

Go to www.kansas.gov for links to all state departments and elected officials, including the governor, attorney general and secretary of state.

Be a legislative page

Students who are 12 or older can get a firsthand look at how the Legislature works by volunteering to be a page for a day. Pages work as messengers from 8:30 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. They also tour the Capitol building. Contact your legislator and ask to apply. Slots can fill up quickly.

Tour the Capitol

The Kansas Historical Society offers free daily guided tours of the Statehouse. During the session, it is a good idea to call ahead for reservations (785-296-3966) or fill out the online reservation form. Go to www.kshs.org, click on Visit, then Capitol Tours.

Walk-in visitors will be included if there is space on a tour.

Listen to address

Gov. Sam Brownback will give his State of the State address at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday. The speech will be broadcast on KPTS, Channel 8.

Track legislation

By computer: Find House and Senate calendars, listings of lawmakers and an explanation of how a bill becomes law at www.kslegislature.org.

You can search for bills by keywords or phrases and track a bill through the legislative process.

You also can listen to House and Senate sessions live.

By phone: Call the legislative hotline at 800-432-3924. Use the same number for TTY calls for the hearing impaired.

The hotline has information about legislative activity and documents, including bill introductions, sponsorships, amendments, status, history and other related legislative action.

Track spending

To examine where the state’s money comes from and how it is being spent, go to www.kansas.gov/kanview.

Lobby a legislator

You can find contact information for legislators on Page 12A today and at www.Kansas.com or www.kslegislature.org. The Wichita-area delegation and individual legislators also conduct several forums each session, usually on the weekends. Notices will be published in The Eagle.

Contact the governor

By mail: Office of the Governor, Capitol, 300 SW 10th Ave., Suite 241S, Topeka, KS 66612-1590

By phone: 877-579-6757 or 785-296-3232; for hearing impaired: 800-766-3777

Online: https://governor.ks.gov/serving-kansans/constituent-services/legislation-and-policy-issues

On Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/govsambrownback

On Twitter: @govsambrownback

Testify about a bill

If you feel strongly about a bill, you can speak before a committee assigned to study it. Contact the committee assigned to study the bill. You’ll find the information at www.kslegislature.org.

You’ll need written copies of your testimony. Ask how many copies to bring and how long you will be allowed to speak.

Committee members may ask questions, and committee decisions often may not be made the same day as the hearing.

Tips to be effective: Research the bill number and the bill’s status. Let the committee know if you have any expertise on the issue. Be brief.

View campaign contributions

Find out who donated money to your legislator through reports filed with the Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission. Go to www.kansas.gov/ethics/index.html and click on Campaign Finance on the left side of the screen, then click on View Submitted Forms & Reports.

Find a department

Go to www.kansas.gov for links to all state departments and elected officials, including the governor, attorney general and secretary of state.

Be a legislative page

Students who are 12 or older can get a firsthand look at how the Legislature works by volunteering to be a page for a day. Pages work as messengers from 8:30 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. They also tour the Capitol building. Contact your legislator and ask to apply. Slots can fill up quickly.

Tour the Capitol

The Kansas Historical Society offers free daily guided tours of the Statehouse. During the session, it is a good idea to call ahead for reservations (785-296-3966) or fill out the online reservation form. Go to www.kshs.org, click on Visit, then Capitol Tours.

Walk-in visitors will be included if there is space on a tour.

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