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Special session will be 22nd in Kansas’ history

  • Associated Press
  • Published Friday, July 26, 2013, at 7:28 p.m.
  • Updated Saturday, July 27, 2013, at 6:25 a.m.

— A special session of the Legislature called Friday by Gov. Sam Brownback will be the 22nd since Kansas became a state in 1861.

The last special session was held in June and July 2005, prompted by a Kansas Supreme Court decision ordering legislators to boost spending on public schools.

Special sessions have lasted from two to 25 days. They were relatively common during the 1920s and 1930s before becoming rarer after the 1960s.

Other facts about special sessions:

• Alf Landon, who had become the Republican nominee for president in 1936, was the only governor to call three special sessions of the Legislature, in 1933, 1934 and 1936.

• Only two other governors, both Republicans, called two special sessions each. They were Henry Allen, in 1919 and 1920, and Mike Hayden, in 1987 and 1989.

• The shortest special session was in December 1989, to extend home and business owners’ deadline for paying property taxes.

• The longest special session was from October into December 1933, to investigate the forging of municipal bonds in what became known as “The Great Finney Bond Scandal” after its central figure. Also, lawmakers responded to federal banking and work relief laws.

• The median length for special sessions is seven days.

• From 1877 through 1955, the Legislature had regular sessions only in odd-numbered years, and nine of the 14 special sessions during that period were called in even-numbered years.

• In the 1920s and 1930s, the Legislature had eight special sessions, averaging a little more than two years apart.

• Since 1967, lawmakers have had only three special sessions.

• The longest gap between special sessions was 21 years, from 1966 to 1987.

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