Governor Laura Kelly has vetoed searing bills demanded by Republicans to ban transgender women from playing sports, pass an educational bill of rights for parents, lift the barrier to food stamp eligibility and expand the Immunity from COVID-19 Lawsuits for Healthcare Providers.
The Democratic governor surprised no one on Friday by vetoing the four controversial bills. There was no shock The GOP leadership in the Legislative Assembly pledged to seek waivers upon his return to Topeka on April 25. Overriding a governor’s veto requires the support of two-thirds majorities in the House and Senate.
Kelly, who is seeking re-election in November, explained the rejection of House Bill 2448that would require able-bodied adults without dependents to work at least 30 hours a week or enroll in a job training program to be eligible for the federal food stamp program.
“Every Kansan is feeling the price of pandemic-induced inflation at the pump and grocery store. The cost of food alone is a major contributor to overall inflation,” Kelly said. “With the rising costs of these necessities, we should be helping people afford the basics. This bill would unnecessarily burden nearly 30,000 hard-working Kansans.
Attorney General Derek Schmidt, the presumptive Republican gubernatorial candidate, said Kelly’s veto of food stamp legislation was a mistake because it required taxpayers to subsidize food purchases by people who choose not to. not work despite strong demand from Kansas employers.
“Both because work brings dignity and because taxpayers deserve better, I would have signed that work requirement into law,” Schmidt said.
Senate Speaker Ty Masterson, R-Andover, said the Legislature would prepare for votes to save the ban on transgender girls or women from participating in school or college athletic programs as well as the declaration of education rights requiring teachers to disclose all school materials to parents. before using them and encourage parents to challenge library books they find offensive.
“For the past few months, the governor has been a chameleon, demonstrating election-year conversions in an effort to trick Kansans into thinking she shares their values,” Masterson said. “Rather than listen to parents and female athletes, her decision to veto the Parents’ Bill of Rights and the Women’s Sports Equity Act demonstrates that she is still largely controlled by the leftmost.”
Masterson said it was important to incorporate into state law the provisions of Senate Bill 160 limit membership in girls’ or women’s teams to a person’s sex at birth. Allowing trans women to participate would create competitive advantages.
In addition, the President of the Senate declared his veto of the educational bill of rights applicable to K-12 public schools across Kansas, described in Senate Bill 58 suggested that the governor viewed “parents as the enemy.”
Sherri Schwanz, president of the Kansas-National Education Association, said the governor’s veto of the parents’ bill of rights prevents the creation of an artificial barrier to communication between teachers and parents “in an effort to open schools to attacks by partisan agents”.
“It protects our students from trying to make our classrooms ground zero in a culture war that only seeks to advance a partisan agenda,” Schwanz said. “We commend Governor Kelly for using her pen of veto.”
Kelly also vetoed Senate Bill 286 which extended the liability immunity of health care providers with respect to the COVID-19 pandemic until January 2023. provide direct health care services.
This story was originally published on the Kansas reflector.