Kansas Legislative Internship Program
The Kansas Legislature will have internships available for the 2013 Legislative Session. Any student who is enrolled in a secondary or post-secondary education institution and will be earning credit for their learning experience or is making academic progress in their educational course of study is eligible to apply. No specific major is required, but strong oral and written communication skills, and a basic understanding of government and the legislative process, are helpful.
Internships will begin the week of January 14, 2013, the first day of the 2013 Legislative Session and end in April. A mandatory Intern Orientation will be held on the Thursday prior to the beginning of the legislative session on January 10, 2013. Each intern will be assigned to a specific legislator by the Intern Coordinator. Placements are based upon applicantís experience, partisan preference and interests. Interns are required to attend a minimum of 12 days during the legislative session. Specific hours required for the internship will be agreed upon by the intern and his/her assigned legislator. Course credit for the internship will be determined by each intern and his/her respective educational advisor and may have additional requirements. Legislative internships are non-paid positions; however, legislative interns who complete program requirements are eligible for up to $600 in mileage reimbursement.
Goals and Expectations
The combination of each intern's expectations, interests and legislator assignment produces a unique experience; however, each intern can expect to gain experience in these areas:
Legislative Support: Responsibilities include attending committee and caucus meetings, researching issues, and tracking legislation.
Constituent Services: Responsibilities include drafting letters, researching constituent concerns or requests, and preparing material for weekly newsletters.
Office Support: Responsibilities include filing, answering the phone,preparing mail, and welcoming visitors from the district. Generally, the legislatorís secretary is responsible for these duties; however, on occasion interns will be expected to help..
Working with your legislator you should be able to experience and do most of the following tasks:
- Write a bill brief.
- Write constituent correspondence.
- Write a press release.
- Aid constituents in casework (negotiate state agencies).
- Track legislation.
- Understand the basics of floor debate and voting.
- Understand General Orders and the Committee of the Whole.
- Understand the committee process (procedural and strategic).
- Develop a policy proposal.
- Understand key points of the most significant legislative issues.
- Describe and understand the governmental relationship between various officers (Governor, Attorney General, Speaker of the House, etc.)
- Understand the Legislative Calendar and how it impacts legislative development.
- Be familiar with key tenants of some or all of the following state issues: agriculture, alcohol (direct shipments, taxation), education finance, energy, gaming, health care (Medicaid), insurance, and taxes.
All interns will have to meet the following requirements to successfully complete the Kansas Legislative Internship Program:
- Attend Intern Orientation.
- Work at the Capitol a minimum of 12 days during the regular session.
- Submit a Policy Proposal project completed for their legislator.
- Submit an evaluation of their internship.
- Submit an evaluation by their legislator of their performance.
Benefits of Serving as an Intern
- Experience state government on a first hand basis.
- Earn course credit from your college/university.
- Gain valuable work experience for a future career.
- Further develop research and communication skills.
- Make contacts for other internships, government jobs, political organizations or campaigns.
How to Apply
If you are interested in interning with us you must return the following by Friday, December 21,2012:
- Application - Click here to download
- Writing Sample (Please include a writing sample from school or work at least a page in length.)
- A letter of recommendation from your college or university advisor.
You are welcome to send these forms by mail, email, or fax to:
Office of the Speaker Pro Tem
Kansas House of Representatives
State Capitol Building, Rm 381-W
Topeka, KS 66612
Please direct any questions to Jessica.White@house.ks.gov
Applicants showing strong potential for doing quality work can expect to be placed with a legislator and will receive an assignment letter after applications are reviewed. The integrity and quality of the Kansas Legislative Intern Program is important, therefore the Intern Coordinator reserves the right to terminate any intern who consistently fails to show strong effort and produce quality work.