The 2022 KS Legislative Session Is Over. Here's Where We Stand.

The Kansas Legislature adjourned sine die - or held their last day of the 2022 session - on Monday, May 23rd. It was a session where so much could have gone wrong as legislators were tasked with a once-in-a-decade redistricting assignment and culture wars abounded in public education and voter rights bills. We're choosing to celebrate the veto of several bad bills, prepare for the work ahead of us, and get out the vote for an important election season.

Mainstream Coalition priorities for the 2022 legislative session were to protect LGBTQ equality, public education, and voting rights, and to fight for a fair and transparent redistricting process. As we celebrate our victories, we also know that we're far from where we want to be and we invite you to become a Mainstream member and help us prepare for the next legislative session.

Public Education

  • Parents’ Bill of Rights (SB 58)
    • This so-called “Parents’ Bill of Rights” wasn’t written for parents, but to appease outside interests looking to interfere with our public schools. Mainstream partnered with advocates across the state under the #TeachtheTruth campaign to strongly oppose any version of this bill. Parents already have access to their student’s teacher and educational materials, and it opens our schools up to attacks from extremists who want to limit exposure to ideas outside of their narrow worldview. 
    • Governor Kelly vetoed SB 58, and the legislature's efforts to overturn the veto failed (the Senate voted to override her veto on a vote of 27:12, but the House sustained the veto on a vote of 72:50, falling far short of the 2/3rds majority needed to override.
  • Funding (HB 2567)
    • The final K-12 Education Budget fully funds public education under Ganon for the FY'23, but did not include additional funding for special education. It also included several pieces of policy, including mandating open enrollment policies for all school districts beginning with the 2024-2025 school year.
    • Efforts to redirect public funds to private schools through vouchers died early this year, with the bill never leaving committee.
  • Read more from Kansas Association of School Boards about all of the education related bills that were taken up this legislative session.  

LGBTQ Equality

  • Anti-Trans Sports Bill (SB 160)
    • Mainstream, along with our partners at Equality Kansas, ACLU of Kansas, and others, strongly opposed this year's attempt to discriminate against and bully transgender youth. The same legislators pushed hard to see this pass the finish line, with Sen Ty Masterson and Sen Renee Erickson carrying this forward despite legislators in both Chambers and on both sides of the aisle objecting to the bill.
    • Governor Kelly vetoed SB 160, and the legislature was unable to overturn it (Senate voted to override with a vote of 28:10 but the House votes fell short at 81:41)
    • We don't expect this to be the last time equality is under attack from the Kansas Legislature, and will be preparing to defend LGBTQ rights again next session.

Voter Rights

  • Frankenstein Election Bill (Senate sub HB 2056)
    • In another display of just how far the Kansas Legislature has moved away from open and transparent government, a major election bill was cobbled together by Sen Rob Olson from various pieces of other proposals, some without any opportunity for public testimony. At one point, this major voter suppression bill stripped the removal of the three day voter protection period, limited remote ballot boxes to only 1 per 30,000 registered voters in each county, required remote ballot boxes be locked when election offices are closed and either physically manned or under video surveillance when in use. Mainstream, along with our partners the Voter Network, Loud Light, ACLU of Kansas, and others, strongly opposed this bill.
    • Fortunately, this bill never made it to the Governor's desk. The Senate passed 21:17, but the House chose to not take a final vote.


  • Congressional maps (SB 355)
    • Mainstream partnered with organizations with the KS Fair Maps coalition to advocate for a transparent redistricting process and fair maps. Despite a crucial victory at the Wyandotte County District Court - spearheaded by our partners ACLU of Kansas, Loud Light, and Voter Rights Network of Wyandotte County as well as Mainstream Board Member Plaintiffs Liz Meitl and Diosselyn Tot - the KS Supreme Court ultimately ruled the gerrymandered Ad Astra 2 Congressional map constitutional. 
  • Legislative and State Board of Education maps (SB 563)
    • After the Governor signed the package of maps - including Senate, House, and State Board of Education - that made up SB 563, the KS Constitution required Attorney General Derek Schmidt to present them to the KS Supreme Court to be ruled valid or invalid. Despite public comments identifying the problems in the process and resulting maps, the court ruled the maps valid. 


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published this page in Blog 2022-05-26 13:34:47 -0500
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