Passage of Kansas bill on trans athletes won’t be veto-proof

Capitol Bureau

Kansas state Reps. Jerry Stogsdill, left, D-Prairie Village, Kristey Williams, center, R-Augusta, and Steve Huebert, right, R-Valley Center, confer in a hallway during a break in negotiations with the Senate over education policy at the Statehouse, Thursday, April 8, 2021, in Topeka, Kan. Williams and Huebert agreed with senators to push forward a proposed ban on transgender athletes in girls’ and women’s school sports, but Stogsdill has called the measure “morally wrong.” (AP Photo/John Hanna)

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas conservatives appear likely to push a proposed ban on transgender athletes in girl’s and women’s school sports through the Republican-controlled Legislature.

But they don’t appear to have enough support to overcome a possible veto by the Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly. The House approved the bill late Thursday, 76-43. The Senate was expected to follow sometime Friday.

Kelly typically does not say what she’ll do with legislation before it reaches her desk, but she has dropped strong hints that she plans to veto such a ban.

Supporters of the bill were eight votes short in the House of the two-thirds majority needed to override a veto.

Supporters argued that they’re preserving decades of hard-won opportunities for “biological” girls and women to compete in K-12 sports and win college athletic scholarships. But the state’s first transgender lawmaker called the push for the bill “heart-breaking.”

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