Supporting Common Sense Legislators

Last week, the Senate voted to pass Sen. President Wagle's (R, 7%) tax bill, SB 22. It will now go to the House, where it is likely to pass, too. But Gov. Kelly has already indicated she will not let it pass. It is likely to return to the Legislature, where Sen. Wagle will have to decide if she will try to override a veto. She will have her hands full.

To override a veto in the Kansas Senate requires 27 votes. The bill passed with only 26 votes. Arrayed against it were all the Democrats, but also two Republicans and one Independent: Sen. John Skubal (R, 100%), Sen. Mary Jo Taylor (R, 94%), and Sen. John Doll (I, 83%).

We understand they withstood enormous pressure from the Senate President and Leadership, but they still voted with their constituents, to be able to fund the business of the state, rather than gift corporations and wealthy Kansans with a tax windfall.

They will face that same pressure again if this bill returns for a veto override.

How do we defend that veto?

We defend a veto by the Governor the same way we pass legislation that helps all Kansans. The same way we prevent insurance companies from going around safeguards. The same way we ensure every Kansan is not subject to discrimination for who they love. The same way we make sure every child receives every opportunity to learn.

We come together across party lines on our shared priorities.

In this case, we let Sens. Skubal, Taylor, and Doll know that we are standing with them on this vote.

But wait, there's more...

Last week we saw a number of our legislators take almost unbelievable positions on bills. The Leadership seems to believe that, given their small gains in 2018, this is the time to push their extremist agenda. Here are a few examples.

SB32 is a bill designed by the Kansas Farm Bureau health insurance company to circumvent the oversight of the Kansas Insurance Commissioner, and avoid having to cover pre-existing conditions, or cover emergent illnesses (like pregnancy!). Nobody on any side likes it. Insurance companies are worried about competition, and health advocacy organizations are worried about patients. Unbelievably, Sen. Olson (R, 0%) said, "I think they’re a good company. They’ll create a lot of competition in the marketplace." 

Or, HB2150, the so called "Kansas Hope Scholarship Act." This bill, masquerading as an anti-bullying bill, is instead an attempt to again take taxpayer funds and distribute them to private and parochial schools. As proposed, if a child is bullied, a principal can opt to make that child eligible for a "scholarship" to a private school. Where... the arguments against tax money for private schools come up again: no accountability, no requirement to cover special needs, no standards of achievement, no guarantee that "scholarship" kids won't be dismissed. Watch this week to see who supports this bill.

In a Legislature more aligned against common sense values, the only way to move the needle to make the lives of every Kansan better is to work together.

It starts with you.

Do more than vote.

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