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2022 Veto Session Recap

Veto Session Recap

The Legislature returned for two veto sessions to wrap up those items that were still pending from the regular session, consider any vetoes, and update the budget based on new financial information.
The Legislature returned to Topeka on May 23 for a one-day second Veto Session. Typically, a second Veto Session is not needed, but this year it was necessary as the redistricting maps were still in the process of court review. Despite the second Veto Session, the Legislature was able to wrap up its work early, utilizing only 79 of the allotted 90 session days and generating a savings for Kansas taxpayers.
Veto Session One
Overriding vetoes is meant to be difficult. Two-thirds of House members and two-thirds of Senators have to vote to override. During the first veto session, the House took up three vetoes but were only able to get 84 votes on one of the overrides. All of these measures are important to Kansans and will be back next year.

Getting Kansans Back to Work: HB 2448

The Governor vetoed this bill which would require able-bodied Kansans (ages 18-49) who are not caring for children or other dependents to seek work while receiving benefits or to attend job training. Requiring a job search or job training for those who can work is the path to help get people back on their feet. The House and Senate overrode this veto and the bill will become law.

Parents Bill of Rights: SB 58

The override on this bill fell short of 84 votes in the House and therefore the bill will not become law.

This bill stated that parents have a right to be informed about and involved in their children’s education. It does not require lesson plans to be posted online. It does not divert money from our classrooms. It does not create more work for teachers.
Ensuring that our children learn the fundamentals: reading, writing and math should be our highest priority. The best way to do that is to make sure parents and teachers both play a role in a child’s education.

I support our hardworking teachers, while also believing that our parents have a fundamental right to be involved in their children’s education. Both things are possible and necessary for our public education system to flourish as intended.

Fairness in Women’s Sports: SB 160

The override on this bill fell just short of 84 votes and therefore the bill will not become law.

Let me be clear, every child deserves to be loved, to develop friendships and enjoy activities and sports. This bill is not about that. Children who participate in competitive sports also deserve to have a fair and level playing field and that is what this bill is about.

Men have certain physical characteristics that mean they are, on average, stronger and faster than women. Women should not have to compete against men or transgender women. The physical differences create an unfair competitive advantage that undoes much of the work of the last five decades since Title IX was passed and jeopardizes athletic scholarship opportunities for our daughters and granddaughters going on to college.
Veto Session Two
During the second Veto Session, legislators acted on two additional bills and considered two veto overrides on bills the Governor had vetoed since the legislature last met.

Kansas Supreme Court Upholds Maps

On May 18, the Kansas Supreme Court handed down its decisions on both the State House and Senate maps (SB 563) and the Congressional map (SB 355). The Court found that all of the maps were valid and upheld, having not found any constitutional violations.

House Republican leadership responded with the following statement: “We were pleased to see the decision of the Kansas Supreme Court upholding the redistricting maps drawn by the people’s legislature. The court recognized what we have said all along, these maps are the result of a fair, open and thorough process based on public input and grounded in constitutional principles. We thank Attorney General Schmidt for his work in diligently representing the will of the people as expressed in the maps.”

The Kansas Legislative Research Department has posted map files for all of the enacted maps.

Governor Vetoes

Following the Legislature’s adjournment of the first wrap up session on April 28, the Governor considered several pieces of legislation. She vetoed three bills, along with one line-item provision in the budget bill (HB 2510). This brings the total number of bills vetoed by this Governor to 28, along with the provisions of five budget bills.

The bills vetoed by Governor Kelly were:

HB 2252 prohibiting the modification of election laws by agreement except as approved by the legislature. The House took up the veto override, successfully overriding the veto, 84-37. The Senate also succeeded on the override. HB 2252 is law, prohibiting the Governor from modifying the election process without legislative approval. HB 2252 is one of two measures that strengthen our safe and secure elections. The Legislature also passed HB 2138, which addresses elections, voting, and audits. The Governor signed that bill.

HB 2387relating to actions by state agencies and the governor; prohibiting the issuance of a request for proposal or entering into a new contract for the administration and provision of benefits under the medical assistance program; relating to the Kansas emergency management act; removing the authority of the governor to prohibit attending or conducting certain religious services and worship services. The House took up the veto override, successfully overriding the veto, 84-38. The Senate also succeeded on the override. HB 2387 is law, ensuring that the Governor will not be able to prohibit or close any religious or worship services in the future. In addition, the KanCare contract will bid following the November election, allowing the next Governor to oversee the contract.

SB 34prohibiting a governmental entity or public official from ordering or otherwise requiring any individual to wear a face mask as a response to a contagious or infectious disease; prohibiting a governmental entity or public official from issuing or requiring use of a COVID-19 vaccination passport or discriminating against any individual based upon COVID-19 vaccination status; limiting powers of the governor and other governmental entities under the Kansas emergency management act related to face masks; modifying judicial review provisions related to certain executive orders issued during a state of disaster emergency and certain actions taken by a local unit of government during a state of local disaster emergency; requiring court petitions challenging orders and similar actions by public officials relating to gathering limitations, business restrictions and religious gathering limitations to be ruled on without unreasonable delay; restricting the power of the secretary of health and environment and local health officers to order law enforcement to assist in execution or enforcement of orders related to isolation or quarantine; prohibiting the secretary of health and environment from requiring a test or inoculation for admission to and attendance at a school that has not received full approval by the federal food and drug administration for the student to whom the requirement applies.

In addition, the Governor line-item vetoed a provision in HB 2510, which would have allowed the Regents to raise tuition. The Regents will have to hold tuition flat, as the veto override was not attempted on this line-item.

No veto overrides were attempted on SB 34 and HB 2510.

Additional legislation considered by the Kansas House this veto session

HB 2136relating to property tax; establishing the COVID-19 retail storefront property tax relief act to provide partial refunds to certain businesses impacted by COVID-19-related shutdowns and restrictions; relating to sales and compensating use tax; increasing thresholds for timing of returns and payments; discontinuing the first 15 days of the month remittance requirements for certain retailers; providing countywide retailers' sales tax authority for Atchison county; delaying implementation of exclusion of separately stated delivery charges from sales or selling price. The Senate passed the conference committee report, as did the House, 120-1. HB 2136 now goes to the Governor for her consideration.

HB 2540relating to substances included in schedules I, II, IV and V of the uniform controlled substances act; amending the definition of controlled substances in the Kansas criminal code; excluding certain drug products from the definition of marijuana; fentanyl testing strips from the definition of drug paraphernalia. The Senate passed the conference committee report, as did the House, 120-2. HB 2540 now goes to the Governor for her consideration.
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