Constitutional and Statutory Provisions
Kansas does not allow either the initiative or
referendum process. The
movement to establish the initiative process in Kansas was well under way by
1900, when the Democratic and Populist parties in the state endorsed the idea.
In 1909, initiative supporters won approval of their amendment in the state’s
lower house but were defeated in the state senate.
In 1911 Governor W. R. Stubbs
called for the enactment of an I&R amendment, and by 1913 all the state’s major
parties had endorsed it, including Kansas’ first state conference of women
voters. The nationally known progressive leader William Allen White of Emporia
was called Kansas’ “foremost champion of Direct Legislation” in a contemporary
periodical. Despite all this support, I&R advocates never succeeded in passing a
statewide I&R amendment. However, they did push through the legislature a bill
establishing I&R in all Kansas cities in 1909, and a statewide recall amendment
See David Schmidt, Citizen Lawmakers: The Ballot