Kansas lawmakers returning to Topeka for budget finalization, veto-overrides

Capitol Bureau

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – Kansas lawmakers headed back to Topeka Monday to start wrapping up the legislative session. It includes finalizing the state budget and attempting to override a number of bills vetoed by Gov. Laura Kelly.

Gov. Kelly vetoed eight bills and 18 lines of the state budget proposal this session. It is the most a governor has vetoed the legislature in 17 years.

In order to override a veto, bills need to get two-thirds majorities. This means 84 out of 125 in the House and 27 out of 40 in the Senate.

Rep. Fred Patton said this is going to be a difficult task for Republican leadership during this final stretch of the session.

“There is not a single bill that got vetoed that had enough votes initially to override a veto, people would have to switch their votes,” said Rep. Patton.

Most of the bills already have the votes needed in the Senate.

Rep. Jim Gartner said the numbers are in the Democrats’ favor in the House.

“We have 39 Democrats in the House at this point,” Rep. Gartner said. “We would need to pick up three votes.”

There are only two bills that need more votes in both the House and the Senate. SB 55, which would ban transgender girls from competing in female sports, and HB 2039, which would require students to pass a civics test and financial literacy course to graduate from high school. Each bill vetoed by Gov. Kelly and a description from the Kansas Legislature is included below.

  • SB 50 – Requiring marketplace facilitators to collect and remit sales, use and transient guest taxes and 911 fees from sales made through their platforms and removing click-through nexus provisions.
    • Passed the House 81-43 and the Senate 30-10.
  • SB 55 – Creating the fairness in women’s sports act to require that female student athletic teams only include members who are biologically female.
    • Passed the House 76-43 and the Senate 26-11.
  • HB 2039 – Requiring administration of a basic civics test as part of the course in United States history and government that is necessary for high school graduation and requiring students to take and pass a personal financial literacy course for high school graduation beginning in school year 2024-2025.
    • Passed the House 72-51 and the Senate 25-13
  • HB 2332 – Prohibiting the modification of election laws other than by legislative process, requiring county election officials to maintain residential and mailing addresses for registered voters, requiring identification of the sender on third party solicitations to registered voters to file an application for an advance voting ballot and prohibiting such solicitations by nonresidents of this state, expanding the crime of election tampering and providing for the appointment of elected officials when vacancy is due to military service.
    • Passed the House 83-38 and the Senate 27-11.
  • HB 2183 – Creating the transparency in revenues underwriting elections act; prohibiting the receipt and expenditure of private monies by election officials; directing the secretary of state to publish certain registered voter totals; relating to advance voting ballots by requiring signed statements for delivery of such ballots on behalf of a voter; limiting the number of such ballots that can be delivered; prohibiting the altering or backdating of the mailing date on such ballots; requiring a matching signature on such ballots; removing the secretary of state’s authority to provide additional time for receipt of such ballots; prohibiting candidates for office from engaging in certain conduct related to advance voting ballots; creating the crime of false representation of an election official; and, expanding the crime of electioneering.
    • Passed the House 80-42 and the Senate 27-11.
  • HB 2166 -Substitute for HB 2166 by Committee on Transportation – Providing for the Braden’s hope for childhood cancer, proud educator and alpha kappa alpha distinctive license plates and providing distinctive license plates for current and veteran members of the United States army, navy, marine corps, air force, coast guard and space force and modifying the requirements to begin production on distinctive license plates.
    • Passed the House 81-41 and the Senate 29-5.
  • HB 2058 – Providing reciprocity for licenses to carry concealed handguns and creating a new class of concealed carry license for individuals 18 to 20 years of age, and creating the Kansas protection of firearm rights act to restore the right to possess a firearm upon expungement of certain convictions.
    • Passed the House 80-43 and the Senate 30-8.

The Kansas Legislature is scheduled to be in session for another eight days.

However, both Patton and Gartner said they could end up going longer or getting out early depending on how fast lawmakers work this week.

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