Kansas defeats discriminatory bill, but other vetoes overridden

In today's legislative session, the Kansas Legislature voted to override the vetoes Kansas Governor Kelly made last week. But it wasn't all bad news.

SB 55, the bill to prevent trans girls from playing sports with their peers was defeated. The Mainstream Coalition is grateful to the Kansas State Senators who stood up and stopped this bill. We are grateful to the Kansas State Representatives who were ready to do the same, should this misguided, discriminatory bill have gotten that far. And we are grateful to Governor Laura Kelly, for vetoing this bill in the first place, keeping Kansas a welcoming state that is open for business. SB 55 should never have gotten to her desk. This bill singled out children as young as 5 years-old for discrimination and bullying for simply existing, and we are grateful to the countless Kansans who made their opposition known to their legislators. Together, we made a difference.

But the Kansas Legislature also overrode Gov. Kelly’s vetoes of several harmful pieces of legislation, making it harder to vote in Kansas, giving hundreds of millions of tax dollars to high-income Kansans and corporations, selling license plates to fund the gun lobby, and letting 18 year-olds carry concealed, loaded handguns. Kansas became less safe, less representative, and less equitable today. In particular, HB 2183 and HB 2332, two voter suppression bills designed to make voting more difficult, became law despite being solutions in search of a nonexistent problem. These override votes passed by slim margins, often by just one vote. Kansans are seeing the consequences of the 2020 elections that swept a supermajority into power in both chambers of the Legislature. We are so grateful to the legislators, advocates, and individuals who fought to oppose these measures. We fell short on these bills today, but the Mainstream Coalition won’t stop fighting for a truly representative government that puts Kansans ahead of political gains.

Remember to do more than vote.

See the letter urging legislators to sustain these vetoes, signed by a wide collection of economic, faith, education, and advocacy leaders

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published this page in Blog 2021-05-03 17:24:25 -0500
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