Kansans can listen to legislative audio, access toll-free hotline

Kansas legislature (KSN Photo)
Kansas legislature (KSN Photo)

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP and KSNW) – Kansans will be able to keep up with legislative updates outside of Topeka.

LEGISLATIVE AUDIO

The Kansas Legislature is planning to begin streaming live audio of committee hearings over the internet.

The Lawrence Journal-World reports the three rooms that host the most high-profile committees will have live audio this month. The other 10 rooms used for hearings are expected to have live audio before the end of the 2017 session.

Kansas open government advocates have long sought streaming audio, which was mandated in the final budget bill lawmakers passed last year.

The program is funded by a three-year, $199,000 grant from the Information Network of Kansas, which helps public entities launch e-government services.

Residents have been able to listen to Kansas Senate or House sessions in real time on the internet for several years. State officials say there aren’t immediate plans to begin streaming video because it would be too expensive.

LEGISLATIVE HOTLINE

Kansas residents can access information on legislation, legislative procedure, state government, public policy issues and more by calling 1-800-432-3924. Calls are answered by experienced reference/research librarians at the State Library of Kansas and kept confidential. Lines are open weekdays 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Callers can also leave brief messages to be delivered to legislators as well as request copies of bills, journals, and other legislative documents.

In addition to calling the hotline, residents can also text questions to 785-256-0733 (standard text message rates may apply), email, or instant message at kslib.info/ask, or visit the State Library. The State Library is located on the third floor, north wing of the Kansas Capitol Building. The library’s hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.