Services Available to Individual Legislators
If you already know what assistance you need, you may want to go directly to our research request form. You also may contact the Department via phone (785-296-3181), fax (785-296-3824), or firstname.lastname@example.org is the e-mail address.
The Legislative Research Department's role is to help legislators find materials and information pertinent to public policy questions currently being considered by the Legislature. Legislators and legislative staff can call for research assistance at any time. We can provide immediate, confidential help to legislators in several ways -- via mail or fax, e-mail or over the phone.
Confidentiality of Inquiry
All legislators' research requests and responses to those requests are confidential.
Legislative Research staff vigorously guard legislators' confidential requests. Staff are instructed to neither confirm nor deny that a report exists or that a particular request has been made, even if the caller appears to be certain of the report or request’s existence. Likewise, when contacting third party sources of information, Legislative Research staff do not reveal the requestor’s name, the intended use of research or information, or the factors that prompted the request without explicit permission from the requesting legislator. In the event that two or more legislators make similar requests, factual data will be given to both, but none of the requesters’ will be informed of their colleague’s requests. KLRD will never release a report containing a requesting legislator’s name to other legislators or to the public without the explicit permission of the requesting legislator. The KLRD web site and index of reports lists only those reports that have been released to the public.
The fact that research conducted by our staff is confidential and that requestors’ identities are not revealed may, in itself, be a service you find useful. Sometimes you may want information without other legislators or agency officials knowing that you want to know.
We can provide immediate answers to many questions. The agency maintains an array of general reference materials focusing on state and federal governments, programs, and public policy issues. We can give you immediate help with questions and requests such as the following:
• How many of the governor's vetoes have been overridden and how many have been sustained?
• I need a copy of the opinion in the school finance lawsuit.
• How does Kansas rank among the states on a number of economic and social measures?
• What portion of state expenditures support education, law enforcement, transportation, or prisons?
We can confidentially contact a variety of sources for information relevant to your request. KLRD researchers interact with government offices at the federal, state, and local levels; private companies and trade groups; and national associations of elected officials, among others. Using those resources, we can help you obtain answers questions such as these:
• How successful has privatization of motor vehicle registration been in California?
• How much gambling tax has been collected from river boat casinos in nearby states?
• How much has Kansas received from the tobacco settlement and how does that compare to what surrounding states have received?
• How much lottery revenue has Kansas and surrounding states earmarked for specific purposes and what are those purposes?
• What is the status of Congress' consideration of the federal energy bill?
We can provide you with contact names, e-mail addresses, and telephone numbers to get you started if you want to gather information on your own. We can provide you with a list of useful resources available on the Internet. KLRD researchers use Internet resources extensively. In addition, we can assist you with locating information on the Legislature's, KLRD’s and Legislative Post Audit’s web pages.
We can provide written responses to more in-depth questions. In addition to the various types of immediate assistance noted above, we prepare confidential written responses, traditionally called "greensheets", and background memoranda in response to requests. In general terms, the following examples provide you with an idea of the types of information provided.
• Analysis of Model Legislation and Legislative Action in Other States.
• Critiques of Reports and Studies
• Detailed Legislative History in a Policy Area
• Per capita distribution of state aid by counties
• Analysis of Federal Legislation and Regulations Affecting Kansas
• Anticipated impact of proposed federal laws and regulations
• Summary and analysis of Kansas case law in a particular policy area
• What if scenarios of various policy options