25 April 2023 | Tax and Budget Education Early Learning Economic Security

2023 Statehouse Snapshot: Veto Session Preview

Kansas Action for Children
April 24, 2023

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Veto Session Preview

This Wednesday, lawmakers come back to Topeka for “Veto Session.” This is when the Legislature finishes outstanding business, such as veto override attempts and finalizing the state’s budget. Many bills were officially sent to the Governor 10 days ago. She has through today to exercise one of three options: sign, veto, or let the bill become law without her signature.

There are several bills Governor Kelly has vetoed, including three bills that KAC actively opposes. With vetoed bills ranging across a number of controversial topics – from mail-in ballots and transgender issues to food assistance restrictions and flat tax fights – lawmakers will have a lot of work to cover when they return.

As a reminder, here are three bills that KAC has been working against this session that are still in play. We hope you’ll take a few minutes to contact your lawmakers through the links provided to encourage them to sustain the Governor’s vetoes. This is the last chance to take action on getting these bills voted down so they don’t become law!

Food Assistance Restriction: Today, Governor Kelly vetoed the bill adding a restriction to access food assistance for low-income Kansans in their 50s (HB 2094). If it becomes law, this bill will result in hungry Kansans being needlessly kicked off the program.

The bill passed the Senate 26-12 and the House 80-42, so the veto override attempt may be close.

Flat Tax: Today, the Governor also vetoed House Sub. for SB 169, the expensive tax package that includes a regressive flat income tax rate of 5.15%. If the veto is overridden, the bill’s costliness will result in the Legislature needing to rely on property and sales taxes in the future, which generally hit low- and middle-income Kansans the hardest. Decreased revenues also could harm funding for vital programs that Kansans rely on.

The bill passed the House 85-38 and the Senate 24-13, so the veto override attempt will be close.

Loosening Child Care Safety Standards: Last Wednesday, Governor Kelly vetoed Senate Sub. for HB 2344, the bill that undermines current child care safety regulations and places several regulations into law. KAC believes that great care must always be taken when our littlest kids are involved, and this bill was rushed through the legislative process. We applaud Governor Kelly for taking the necessary steps to keep kids and providers safe.

The bill passed the Senate 21-17 and the House 77-46; it’s unlikely supporters will be able to make up the votes needed to override the veto, but we still need as many Kansans as possible to reach out to their lawmakers to ensure they’ll vote to sustain it.

New on the KAC Blog: K-12 Funding Still to Be Finalized in 2023

After a session filled with rapidly changing education policies and taking K-12 funding out of the main budget bill, much remains to be seen on what final legislation will look like. Right now, K-12 funding is residing in House Sub. for SB 113, but some negative policy add-ons could impact where the bill ends up. Continue reading...