Your 2019 Kansas Legislature

Today is the official first day of the 2019 Kansas Legislative Session. Over the next few months, a lot of legislation will pass through the Statehouse in Topeka. Most of it will be mundane, some of it will be ceremonial. But some of it will touch the lives of every Kansan, for better or worse.

This year will be significantly different than any year since 2010, however, in that there will be a Governor at the top looking out for Kansans. Gov. Laura Kelly has already shown her readiness to work for every Kansan, regardless of their political party. She is a centrist Democrat surrounding herself with smart people from both parties, and we are excited to see what she can do from the Governor's mansion.

But before a bill gets to her, it has to go through the Legislature. One hundred and twenty-six of them were elected just this past November, and we think it is important for their constituents to keep an eye on them, to make sure they are doing what they promised, making choices that help people back home and across the state. Not just them, but the Senators who were elected in 2016, too.

Who represents you?

If you're reading this, chances are you know who represents you in Topeka. But it is likely you know people, even people close to you, who have no idea who is making choices for them in the Legislature. Here's how you find out:

We've updated our online tool with the new Representatives and Senators taking their seats today. Use it now to make sure of who is working for you. Then, send that URL (or this email!) to your friends, asking them if they know who represent them. It's the first step in becoming an engaged voter.

Send them an email!

But wait, it's not enough just to know who should be stumping for you in the Legislature. You should introduce yourself to them! Use the tool above to send them an email (their email addresses are linked right there). This is what you might tell them:

I just wanted to let you know that I am a constituent, and I am paying close attention to the Kansas Legislature this year. I know there are many difficult decisions ahead, but I hope you will make decisions that make a difference in the lives of all Kansans, not just the few. Thank you for your public service.

But, who are they?

Done your work above? Here are some details about the 2019 Kansas Legislature. Let's start off with how they measure up to the issues MainStream works towards. You can see where we stand on our website: Where We Stand and look at our Voting Scorecards for past Legislatures (it's where we get the % scores you'll see below).

  • There are 31 brand new legislators, 3 in the Senate, and a whopping 28 in the House, along with two House Representatives who have served before: Rep. John Toplikar (R, House District 15, who served from 1993-2002) and Rep. Will Carpenter (R-75, who served from 2013-2016).
  • Three vacancies in the Senate (Sen. Kelly, Rogers, and Schmidt were elected to higher offices) were filled by a vote of their precinct committee people, and a vacancy in the House (Rep. Miller is now Sen. Miller, taking Sen. Kelly's spot in the previous step) was filled the same way. Once again, here's our plug to run for Committee Person!
  • 30 of the 125 members of the House are female (24%), while 14 of the 40 Senators are female (35%).
  • Leadership in the Senate is an average of 25% in line with MainStream for the majority Republicans (though the R members average to 35%), and 100% for the minority Democrats (their members average to 98%).
  • Leadership in the House is an average of 17% in line with MainStream for the majority Republicans (though the R House averages to 38%), and 98% for the minority Democrats (whose members average to 97%).
  • Keeping in mind that 32 of them don't have voting records we could check, of the rest, there are 4 Senators and 12 Representatives who have never voted in agreement with MainStream. There are 7 Senators and 27 Representatives who have always voted with MainStream (on the issues and votes we track).
  • How do your legislators rank? Find out at, or look at our Voting Scorecards.

Here we go

Starting today, MainStream will be following the Kansas Legislature, reporting back to you on the important bills, on the advocacy efforts, on opportunities to meet your legislators, on the issues, and how you can get involved in the discussion. Stay tuned.

Do more than vote.

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