Senate Confirmation Process

State law in Kansas requires that certain appointments by the Governor or other state officials be confirmed by the Senate prior to the appointee exercising any power, duty, or function of the office. If a majority of the Senate votes on the question of confirmation of an appointment to an office and the appointment is not confirmed, the office shall become vacant at that time (KSA 75-4315b). When the Senate is not in session, the Senate Committee on Confirmation Oversight (Committee) reviews appointments and makes recommendations related to the appointments to the full Senate.

The Committee has six members with proportional representation from the two major political parties (KSA 2019 Supp. 46-2601). One of the members of the Committee is the Majority Leader of the Senate, or the Majority Leader’s designee, who serves as chairperson. The Minority Leader of the Senate, or the Minority Leader’s designee, serves as vice-chairperson. If a vacancy occurs in an office or in the membership of a board, commission, council, committee, authority, or other governmental body and the appointment to fill the vacancy is subject to confirmation by the Senate, the Committee may authorize, by a majority vote, the person appointed to fill the vacancy to exercise the powers, duties, and functions of the office until the appointment is confirmed by the Senate. A list of those positions subject to Senate confirmation is included on the following pages, along with tables outlining the confirmation process for gubernatorial appointees and non-gubernatorial appointees.

Acting State Officers

State law provides that the Governor and other appointing authorities may appoint an acting state officer to certain positions (including department secretaries) to serve for a period not greater than six months, during which time the acting state officer shall have and exercise all of the powers, duties, and functions of the office in which he or she is acting (KSA 75-4315a).

Alphabetical List of Appointments Subject to Senate Confirmation

Adjutant General
Administration, Secretary
Aging and Disability Services, Secretary
Agriculture, Secretary
Alcoholic Beverage Control, Director
Bank Commissioner
Banking Board
Board of Tax Appeals, Members and Chief Hearing Office
Central Interstate Low-Level Radioactive Waste Commission
Children and Families, Secretary
Civil Service Board
Commerce, Secretary
Corporation Commission
Corrections, Secretary
Court of Appeals, Judge
Credit Union Administrator
Crime Victims Compensation Board
Employment Security, Board of Review
Export Loan Guarantee Committee
Fire Marshal
Gaming Agency, Executive Director
Healing Arts, Executive Director of State Board
Health and Environment, Office of Inspector General
Health and Environment, Secretary
Highway Patrol, SuperintendentHistorical Society, Executive Director
Hospital Authority, University of Kansas

Human Rights Commission
Indigents’ Defense Services, State Board
Kansas Bureau of Investigation, Director
Kansas City Area Transportation District
Kansas Development Finance Authority, Board of Directors
Kansas National Guard, General Officers
Labor, Secretary
Librarian, State
Long-Term Care Ombudsman
Lottery Commission Members and Executive Director
Mo-Kan Metropolitan Development District and Agency Compact
Pooled Money Investment Board
Property Valuation, Director
Public Employee Relations Board
Public Employees Retirement System Board of Trustees
Racing and Gaming Commission Members and Executive Director
Regents, State Board
Revenue, Secretary
Securities Commissioner
Transportation, Secretary
Veterans’ Affairs Office, Commission on, Director
Water Authority, Chairperson
Water Office, Director
Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, Secretary

Senate Confirmation Process: Gubernatorial Appointments

Step 1The Governor appoints an individual to a vacancy requiring Senate confirmation.
Step 2The Governor’s Office collects completed copies of the appointee’s nomination form, statement of substantial interest, tax information, and background investigation, including fingerprints.
Step 3The Governor’s Office submits completed copies of the appointee’s nomination form and statement of substantial interest to the Kansas Legislative Research Department (KLRD) via the chairperson of the Committee.
Step 4KLRD and Revisor of Statutes staff review the file for completeness.
Step 5If the file is complete, KLRD staff informs the chairperson of the Committee that the file is available for review.
Step 6The appointment is considered by the Committee (during Session, the appointment may be considered by an appropriate subject-matter committee).
Step 7If the Committee votes to recommend and authorize the appointee, the appointee may exercise the powers, duties, and functions of the office until the full Senate votes on confirmation.
Step 8The full Senate votes on confirmation during the next Session (or current if Session is underway).

Senate Confirmation Process: Non-gubernatorial Appointments

Step 1The chairperson of the Committee is notified by the appointing authority that an appointment has been made requiring Senate confirmation.
Step 2The appointing authority submits completed copies of the appointee’s nomination form, statement of substantial interest, tax information release form, and written request for a background investigation to the KLRD via the chairperson of the Committee.
Step 3The Director of Legislative Research submits a written request to the Kansas Bureau of Investigation (KBI) for a background check, including fingerprints. The Director also submits a request to the Department of Revenue to release the appointee’s tax information.
Step 4KBI and Department of Revenue officials complete the background and tax investigations. The information is sent to KLRD.
Step 5The Director of Legislative Research informs the appointing authority and appointee the file is complete and available for review.
Step 6The appointing authority and appointee may exercise the option to review the information and decide whether to proceed with the nomination.
Step 7If the appointing authority and nominee decide to proceed with the nomination, the Director of Legislative Research informs the chairperson and vice-chairperson of the Committee the file is available for review.
Step 8The appointment is considered by the Committee.
Step 9If the Committee votes to recommend and authorize the appointee, the appointee may exercise the powers, duties, and functions of the office until the full Senate votes on confirmation.
Step 10The full Senate votes on confirmation during the next Session (or current if Session is underway).

Robert Gallimore, Managing Research Analyst
Robert.Gallimore@klrd.ks.gov

Jessa Farmer, Research Analyst
Jessa.Farmer@klrd.ks.gov