Our deepest gratitude goes to Governor Laura Kelly, who today vetoed SB 55, the Kansas bill attacking trans school kids. Since she first began serving as a Kansas senator in 2005, she has been a strong and steadfast ally of the LGBTQ community. Transgender kids across Kansas know they have a champion in the fight for equality and fairness.
We are also grateful to you, the Kansas LGBTQ community, who sent hundreds of messages to the Governor’s office asking her to veto this hateful, damaging legislation.
Our focus will now turn to asking legislators to sustain that veto. We will continue to fight so that SB 55 will never become law. Once again we are calling on you to stand with us in defense of transgender kids in Kansas.
The Kansas legislature is presently on “spring break,” and will return for the wrap-up session scheduled May 3 through 11. It is a near-certainty that they will attempt to override Governor Kelly’s veto.
In the 40-member Kansas Senate, 27 votes are required for a veto override, and in the 125-member House, the threshold is 84 votes to override. When the bill passed on the last day of the regular session, it received 26 Senate and 76 House votes, respectively. At first glance, it appears we have enough votes against this bill to sustain Governor Kelly’s veto.
It’s important to point out, however, that voting against bad policy, which SB 55 most assuredly is, is not the same as a vote on whether to sustain or override a gubernatorial veto. Solid “NO” votes on bad policy may see a veto override as less about policy and more about politics. In other words, some ultra-partisan legislators may vote to override Governor Kelly’s veto precisely because she vetoed the bill, and they are from the opposite political party. This is why it is critical we let the “NO” votes know how much we appreciate their position for fairness and equality, and ask them to continue their principled stand and vote to sustain the governor’s veto.
What you can do:
- Contact the priority senators and representatives listed below. Clicking on their names will take you to the Kansas Legislature’s website, with each elected official’s contact information. Don’t be shy about calling home numbers! That’s why they are published: So Kansans can talk to their elected representatives.
- Contact your own state representative and senator. If you don’t know who they are, click here https://openstates.org/find_your_legislator/
- You may see the full list of Senators who voted on SB55 here: http://kslegislature.org/li/b2021_22/measures/vote_view/je_20210409131949_168281/
- You may see the full list of Representatives who voted on SB55 here. http://kslegislature.org/li/b2021_22/measures/vote_view/je_20210408234417_335249/
Senators who voted NO or PASS who might need encouragement to sustain Governor Kelly’s veto:
- Brenda Dietrich (voted NO in March and NO in April. Thank her for her support!)
- John Doll (Voted PASS in March and again in April)
- David Haley (Voted PASS in March and again in April)
- Carolyn McGinn (Voted PASS in March and again in April)
- Jeff Longbine (voted PASS the first time in March, voted YES in April)
Representatives who voted NO or PASS who might need encouragement to sustain Governor Kelly’s veto (be sure to thank them for their NO votes!!):
- Dave Baker (voted NO)
- Jesse Bojorn (voted NO)
- Susan Concannon (voted NO)
- Brad Ralph (voted NO)
- Mark Samsel (voted NO)
- Mark Schreiber (voted NO)
- John Barker (absent, but has been a past supporter of LGBTQ rights)
- Megan Lynn (absent)
- Kent Thompson (absent, but has been a past supporter of LGBTQ rights)
Representatives who voted YES, but might be persuaded to vote to sustain the governor’s veto:
- Avery Anderson
- Suzi Carlson
- Will Carpenter
- Chris Croft
- Leo Delperdang
- John Eplee
- Blaine Finch
- Shannon Francis
- Nick Hoheisel
- Russell Jennings
- Steven Johnson
- Tim Johnson
- Fred Patton
- Ken Rahjes
- Adam Thomas
- John Wheeler