What the 2020 Election Means for Kansas

We have been looking over the results from Tuesday's election as it regards the Kansas Legislature. There are a few good stories, but most of the news in Kansas is not great.

There are no Kansas Senate races in question, but there are three races for the Kansas House of Representatives that remain very close. District 16 has Linda Featherston (D) currently just 14 votes ahead of Rashard Young (R). In House 48, Terry Frederick (R) is 5 votes ahead of Jennifer Day (D). And in House 102, Jason Probst (D) is 5 votes ahead of John Whitesel (R).

We will have to wait until the final canvass of county results, which by law must be decided by December 1, 2020.

Those results, however, will not change the makeup of the Legislature significantly. If the results above hold, the House will have 38 Democrats and 87 Republicans. The Kansas Senate will have 11 Democrats and 29 Republicans. In the House, 84 votes are needed to overcome a veto. In the Senate, 27. Republicans will be able to override Governor Kelly's vetoes for the next two years, if they vote in caucus.

There are a lot of newcomers without voting histories, and we can't know exactly how they will vote. But at least four of the Republicans no longer in the Legislature were moderates who voted with Mainstream on most issues, replaced by more conservative politicians. Last year, one Republican, Jan Kessinger, was the deciding vote preventing passage of the amendment to strip reproductive rights from the Kansas Constitution. He won't be returning to the Statehouse.

The result is that we expect the Constitutional amendment to be among the first items brought up and voted on in 2021. The chances of it appearing on the Primary ballot in August are very high, a primary ballot in a municipal election year.

Next year will also surely see further stalling on Medicaid expansion, tax cuts for wealthy Kansans under the guise of helping "job creators" weather the pandemic, further weakening of gun safety measures, no movement on civil rights protections, and more. It would not surprise us to see public education receive special attention for cuts or diminished services using the pandemic as an excuse, either.

We know elections have consequences. We know you voted, and worked hard to get the people you know to vote. Now, it's time to talk with those neighbors and friends about what this election means for Kansas.

In 2021, we'll be working to bridge the divide in our communities to bring Kansans closer together on priorities we all share, like the health of our communities, the future of our children, and the rights we all hold self evident.

We hope you'll join us as we engage in these conversations, here, in Topeka, and across the state.

Thank you for doing more than voting,

Danny Novo
Communications Director

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published this page in Blog 2020-11-05 15:42:27 -0600
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