KS legislature works to override governor vetoes on several bills

Published: May. 3, 2021 at 10:38 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - The Kansas Legislature went back to work Monday, trying to override Governor Laura Kelly’s veto of several bills to let them become law. The magic numbers in the legislature are 27 in the Senate and 84 in the House. Those are the votes needed to reach the two-thirds majority to override a veto.

The legislature fell one vote short of overriding the governor’s veto on Senate Bill 55, the transgender athlete bill, or “Fairness in Women’s Sports Bill.” Supporters have said the bill is needed so that girl and women athletes aren’t at a competitive disadvantage while opponents argue it discriminates against the transgender women and policies by KSHSAA and the NCAA already address this.

While the vote on the transgender athletes bill essentially leave it dead this session, lawmakers were able to get veto overrides on most of the other bills they revisited Monday. The override with the most impact for the state is Senate Bill 50, the tax bill. It creates a marketplace facilitators sales tax for sites like Amazon and eBay, increases the standard deduction an extra $500 and makes changes to corporate income tax filings.”

Republican leadership says this is needed to provide Kansans with tax relief.

“In 2017, the federal government cut taxes, and as a result, it inadvertently increased taxes for some Kansans,” said Sen. Caryn Tyson, R-Parker “We have been trying to deal with this top for several years. “The governor has vetoed now three bills dealing with this topic.”

Governor Kelly and Democratic leaders said the state can’t afford the tax cuts in the bill.

“Spending $336 million more in financial year 22 than we’re bringing in, and now we’re looking at $106 million (in cuts). Let’s sustain this veto,” said Sen. Dinah Sykes, D-Lenexa. The tax bill override received the two-thirds majority needed from both chambers.

The House and Senate also overturned the vetoes on two election bills, a bill to lower the conceal carry age and a bill involving making the “Don’t Tread on Me” flag an optional license plate design. The House also started overturning line items vetoes in the state’s appropriation bill. They still need to be considered by the Senate.

Lawmakers have until next week to finish the session. One item they must complete is putting together and passing out a K-12 and higher education budget.

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