About the Kansas Legislative Internship Program
The Kansas Legislature will have internships available for the 2016 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 11, 2016, the first day of the 2016 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 7, 2016. Each intern will be assigned to a specific legislator by the Intern Coordinator. Placements are based upon applicant’s 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.
- Important Dates
- Requesting a Legislator
- Expectations and Goals for Interns
- Intern Program Requirements and Completion
- Download a PDF of the internship application
- Download a PDF of the internship terms and conditions
- Download a PDF of the confidentiality agreement
You may e-mail completed forms to our Chief of Staff, Abbie Hodgson.
All intern applications are due in early December. Interns who do not apply and do not attend the required orientation in early January will not be eligible for all the benefits of the internship program (parking, mileage reimbursement, academic credit, etc.). Intern application materials have already been sent to all Kansas secondary educational institutions. Internships will begin the second week of January (the first week of the legislative session). You will be expected to make contact with your legislator by then.
Our staff wishes to provide you with the best internship experience possible. If you you prefer to work with a specific Democratic legislator, you may arrange this with the legislator directly and include the preference on your application. Requests will be handled on a first come, first served basis. If you simply have a Democratic party preference, please contact the House Minority Leader's Office to help determine which legislator might be the right fit. Regardless of whether you have a legislator preference, we would enjoy the opportunity to meet you individually. This is not a formal interview and is not required, we just want to learn more about you, your background, and your spring schedule before assigning you to a legislator. This will ensure that you are paired with a compatible member who can teach you more about your specific policy interests. Please e-mail our Chief of Staff, Abbie Hodgson to schedule a time to meet.
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 legislator’s 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 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 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.
To be eligible to intern in the Kansas Legislative Internship Program, the applicant must be a credit seeking student in a Kansas high school, secondary, or post-secondary education institution. Interns cannot be family members of those whom they serve. All internships are unpaid though mileage may be reimbursed for up to $600.
All interns will have to meet the following requirements to successfully complete the Kansas Legislative Internship Program.
- Attend Intern Orientation in early January (prior to the start of the legislative session)
- Work at the Capitol a minimum of 12 eight-hour days during the regular session (64 hours total, may be divided to coordinate the intern's schedule).
- Submit a Policy Proposal project completed for their legislator
- Submit an evaluation of their internship
- Submit an evaluation by their legislator of their performance
To learn more about the process for obtaining college credit for your internship (regardless of what caucus you prefer), you must contact your University directly. Listed below are contacts for the legislative internship programs at major Kansas universities.
- Emporia State University: Professor Michael Smith, 620.341.5462
- Fort Hays State University Professor Shala Mills, 785.628.4425
- Kansas State University: Professor John Fliter, 785.532.6842
- Pittsburg State University: Professor Michael Kelley, 620.235.4325
- University of Kansas: Professor Burdett Loomis, 785.864.3523
- Washburn University: Professor Bob Beatty, 785.670.1010
- Wichita State University: Professor William Hoston, 316.978.3165
If your university is not listed above, please contact your political science department.