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Government of Kansas

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sealThe Constitution of the state of Kansas guards the Government of  Kansas, which is a republican democracy based on the Federal Government of the US.  The government is structured and established by the State Constitution of Kansas. Kansas was included in the Union and thus rendered statehood on  January 29, 1861[1]. Kansas state’s motto  is "Ad astra per aspera" which is translated as "to the stars through difficulties." The motto represents the hardships the state faced with issues like Indian attacks, slavery and the inevitable war. The State Constitution of Kansas divides the powers of the government into three distinct branches— the legislative, the executive and the judicial. The state government is established in Topeka.

Executive Branch of Kansas

The Kansas Executive Branch is a well functioning body of the state government. Several state government departments work under the executive branch for the smooth functioning of the government. The Governor of Kansas leads the executive branch of the government as the supreme executive head. The executive branch is led by the Governor of Kansas, who along with the assistance given by Cabinet Secretaries, manage the executive. The Governor is the chief executive of the state and he/she has certain direct executive power, that must be shared with other statewide elected officers.

Governor of Kansas

The supreme executive power of the state and the government is vested upon the Governor. The role to be performed by the Lieutenant Governor is determined by the Governor. The Governor is chosen by the qualified electors of the state and he/she may hold office for the term of 4 years. It is the duty of the Governor to see that laws are executed properly. The Governor is also the commander in chief of the army and navy of the state, and of the militia. Qualifications required to become a Governor of the state is he/she must be 30 years of age and be a citizen of the United States.

Contact Details
Office of the Governor
Capitol, 300 SW 10th Avenue, Street. 241S
Topeka, KS 66612-1590
Phone:  877-KSWORKS (877-579-6757) – Tollfree
Local:  785-296-3232
Website: www.governor.ks.gov/about-the-office/governor-sam-brownback

Lieutenant-Governor of Kansas

The Lieutenant-Governor of Kansas is chosen at the same time, for the same term, in the same manner, and subject to the same provisions as the Governor. The Lieutenant Governor is first in line to take over the Governorship if there is any vacancy. The Lieutenant-Governor possesses the same qualifications of eligibility for office as the Governor. Lieutenant-Governor works as the President of the Senate.

Website: www.governor.ks.gov/about-the-office/lt-govenor-jeff-colyer

Kansas Secretary of State

The Secretary of the State is elected by the Governor who holds office and is the stae’s chief elections officer who administers elections and voter registration for the entire state. The records of the state are kept in the office of the secretary. The Secretary of State keeps and preserves the records of all the official acts and proceedings of the Governor and lays the same before either branch of the Legislature when required.

Contact Details
Kansas Secretary of State
Memorial Hall, First Floor
120 South West 10th Ave
Topeka, KS 66612-1594
Phone: 785-296-4564
Website: www.sos.ks.gov

Kansas Attorney General

The Attorney General is the chief law enforcement officer of the state. He/she is a statewide elected official who is responsible to provide legal services to Kansas government.The office has broad responsibility to combat crime, fight fraud, safeguard families, and protect consumers in the First State.

Contact Details
Kansas Attorney General
120 South West, 10th Avenue, second floor
Topeka, Kansas 66612-1597
(785) 296-2215
Website: www.ag.ks.gov

Kansas State Treasurer

Kansas State Treasurer is the chief custodian of the state’s monies from bond sales, cash deposits and other securities and collateral and is also responsible to direct the investments of these assets. He/she offers efficient operation of the government through effective investment, banking and cash management. The key duties and responsibilities of the Office of the State Treasurer is to collect, disburse and invest monies for the Kansas.

Website: www.kansasstatetreasurer.com/prodweb/main

Kansas Insurance Commissioner

Kansas Insurance Commissioner is an elected position who has the key responsibility to the people of the state whose personal lives are governed by insurance in Kansas.

Contact Details:
Kansas Insurance Department
420 SW 9th St, Topeka, Kansas 66612-1678
Phone: 785-296-3071
Website: www.ksinsurance.org

Legislative Branch of Kansas

flagThe Kansas Legislature is the law making and supervising body of the state government. The Legislative power is vested in the General Assembly consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. All of the legislative authority of the state is vested within the Legislature. The significant legislative’s role is to levy and collect taxes, raise and maintain the State’s militia and borrow money. The Legislature is granted the authority by the Constitution to legislate on all appropriate subjects of legislation.

Learn more on Kansas State Legislative

House of Representatives

The Kansas House of Representatives is the lower house of the Kansas Legislature, with 125 seats that is separated proportionally based on the population of each county. Each member is chosen for two years. Qualified members of House of Representatives should be twenty four years old and a citizen and inhabitant of the state. The House of Representatives choose the speaker who presides over the House of Representatives.

Read more on House of Representatives

Senate

The Kansas Senate is the upper house of the Kansas Legislature. The Kansas Senate comprises of 40 seats that is divided equally among the 40 senatorial districts of the state. Each member is elected for four years. Qualified members of Senate should be twenty four years old and a citizen and inhabitant of the state. The Lieutenant Governor serves as the President of the Senate.

Read more on Senate

Judicial Branch of Kansas

The Judicial System of Kansas interprets the laws and constitution of the state. According to the Constitution of the State of Kansas, the judicial power is vested upon the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals and the district courts in the state. The Governor appoints all judges and justices requiring appointment. Through the Kansas Judicial Nominating Commission, the candidates undergo a nominating process and later select 3 candidates that must pass the Governor’s approval for a single selection to the office.

Judiciary

Supreme Court

The Kansas Supreme Court is the court of highest appeal in the State of Kansas. The Court has final appellate jurisdiction in civil and criminal cases. The Court has appellate jurisdiction over direct appeals from other lower courts except for criminal cases. The Court has original jurisdiction over writs of mandamus, prohibition and certiorari.

Supreme Court comprises of 7 justices, each elected by the governor from a panel of 3 qualified individuals forwarded by the Supreme Court Nominating Commission. A justice remains in office for 6 years term and they generally do not conduct trials. The justices decide an appealed case after thoroughly studying the written briefs filed by both groups, the record of the trial and hearing oral arguments of lawyers.

Read more on Supreme Court

Contact Details:
The Kansas Supreme Court
301 SW 10th Ave.,
Topeka Kansas 66612-1507

Court of Appeals

The Governor makes all appointments to the Court of Appeals and confirmation is mandatory by a majority vote of the Senate. Judges are elected for 4 year terms and via public vote they can be retained for successive terms. One Court of Appeals judge is appointed as chief judge. Members of the Court of Appeals are grouped in panels of 3 at locations all around the state.

Read more on Kansas Court of Appeals

Kansas District Courts

The Constitution creates the District courts which serves as the trial courts of the state. They have general original jurisdiction over all criminal and civil cases, including damage suits, divorce and domestic relations, guardianship, probate and administration of estates, conservatorship, juvenile matters, care of the mentally ill and small claims. It holds all criminal and civil jury trials. The state of Kansas is sectioned into judicial districts, and each county has district court.

Read more on Kansas District Courts

Important Contact Details:

Kansas Judicial Center
301 South West 10th Ave
Topeka Kansas - 66612-1507  

Appellate Clerk's Office
Phone:  785.296.3229
Fax:  785.296.1028

Office of Judicial Administration
Phone:  785.296.2256
Fax:  785.296.7076

Kansas State Taxation

The Kansas Department of Revenue manages and administers a standard tax law in the state. It is the primary revenue collector for the state. The mission of the division is to collect 100% of the taxes and other revenues for the state. For income tax calculation, Kansas has 3 income brackets, ranging from 3.5% to 6.45%. Kansa sales tax is 6.15%.

Contact Details:
Division of Business TaxationTax
Docking State Office Building
Room 150
915 South West Harrison St
Topeka, KS 66612

Division of Taxation for Individuals
Docking State Office Building
Room 150
915 SW Harrison St
Topeka, KS 66612

Telephone:

Kansas Tax Assistance - 785-368-8222
Automated Refund Status for Food Sales, Income, Homestead - 1-800-894-0318
Kansas Tax Form Requests (voice mail) 785-296-4937

Read more:
Kansas Department of Revenue
Personal Tax
Business Tax

Kansas State Departments

The state of Kansas has various state departments that work with the state government executive branch. The departments render their services in various sectors for the proper and smooth functioning of the state as a whole. Listed below are some of the important state departments in Kansas.

Kansas State Department of Education

Kansas State Department of Education supervises and authorizes the workings of all schools, and higher education systems in the state. KSDE is a dynamic and well rounded service agency that works to offer leadership, support, resources and accountability to the K-12 education system of the state. The department focuses to provide world class education to the students. It aims to use modern technologies and facilities to ensure overall progress and success of the community.

Contact Details
Kansas State Department of Education
900 South West Jackson, Topeka, KS 66612
Phone: (785) 296-3201
Fax: (785) 296-7933
Email: contact@ksde.org
Website: www.ksde.org

Kansas Department of Health and Environment

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment provides health care and social services to the community. KDHE works to protect the lives of the people, strives to control and prevent disease and provides oversight to hospitals, nursing homes and other health care entities in the state. The department strives to enhance the living standard of the residents by promoting health and well-being, protecting vulnerable populations and implementing self-sufficiency. The health department also has divisions which provide all vital records and health statistics of the state.

Contact Details
Kansas Department of Health and Environment
1000 South West Jackson, Topeka, Kansas 66612
Phone: (785) 296-1500
Website: www.kdheks.gov

Kansas Department of Agriculture

The Kansas Department of Agriculture is the agency that helps to sustain and promote the viability of food, fiber, and agricultural industries in the state through quality services to protect and enhance the environment, health, and welfare of the general public. is the nation's first state department of agriculture. KDA works for the entire state agriculture sector, including ranchers, farmers, agribusinesses and food establishments.

Contact Details
Kansas Department of Agriculture
1320 Research Prk Dr
Manhattan, Kansas 66502
Phone: (785) 564-6700
Website: agriculture.ks.gov

Kansas Department of Transportation

The Kansas Department of Transportation overviews the entire transportation network of the state and works to ensure safety and easy commuting of people and goods. The KDOT provides safe, reliable and convenient transit options for the throughout the state. Many plans and programs are implemented by the department so as to achieve transportation excellence, relating to roadways, airways, railways and other transit in Kansas.

Contact Details
KDOT
700 South West, Harrison St.
Topeka, Kansas - 66603-3745
Fax: (785) 296-0287
Phone: (785) 296-3566
Website: www.ksdot.org

Kansas Insurance Department

Kansas Insurance Department works to protect insurance consumers, regulate companies to ensure ability to pay claims, check rates submitted by insurance companies, handles license agents and brokers and review any kind of insurance fraud. The department key responsibility is to the consumers whose personal lives or business goals are governed by the state’s insurance product.

Contact Details
420 South West
Ninth Streets, Topeka, KS 666121(678)
Phone: 785-296-3071
Customer Hotline: 800-432-2484
Website: www.ksinsurance.org

References:
  1. Kansas statehood

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