For the third year in a row, Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly, a Democrat, has vetoed an anti-transgender sports bill — but this year legislators may possibly override her.
In her veto message on Home Bill 2238, Kelly mentioned the regulations of the Kansas Higher College Activities Association are adequate to make sure fairness in sports.
“As I’ve mentioned ahead of, we all want a fair and protected spot for our little ones to play and compete,” she mentioned in a statement Friday. “That’s why I help the Kansas State Higher College Activities Association, which was set up to make sure no one has an unfair benefit on the playing field. The Legislature need to let the Association do its job.
“Let’s be clear about what this bill is all about – politics. It will not raise any test scores. It will not assist any little ones study or create. It will not assist any teachers prepare our little ones for the true planet. Here’s what this bill would in fact do: harm the mental wellness of our students. That is precisely why Republican governors have joined me in vetoing comparable bills.
“This bill would also reverse the progress we’ve produced in recruiting corporations and producing jobs. It would send a signal to potential firms that Kansas is a lot more focused on unnecessary and divisive legislation than becoming a spot exactly where young persons want to operate and raise a family members.”
HB 2238 would have barred trans girls and girls from competing on female sports teams in K-12 schools, clubs, and public colleges. There are only 3 trans athletes participating in college sports in the state, The Topeka Capital-Journal reports.
Legislators have 30 days from the time they acquire Kelly’s official veto notice to try an override. “Republicans have a lot more than the two-thirds majorities in each chambers required to override a veto, but in 2021 and 2022, a couple of GOP moderates voted against overriding Kelly,” the Connected Press notes. “The Home and Senate votes on this year’s bill recommend supporters could have just adequate votes to prevail.”
So far, 18 states have restricted trans participation on college sports. This year, Kansas has observed the introduction of not only the sports bill but a selection of other anti-trans measures, like a ban on gender-affirming care for youth and a “bathroom bill.”
The Human Rights Campaign praised Kelly’s veto. “Anti-equality legislators in Kansas have spent years repeatedly targeting a little group of currently marginalized young persons who want to play sports for the identical purpose all students do — to discover sportsmanship, self-discipline and teamwork, and to have enjoyable,” mentioned a statement from Cathryn Oakley, HRC state legislative director and senior counsel. “The legislature has produced it clear that this discrimination is what it stands for, regardless of each piece of proof displaying that there is no rational purpose underpinning this legislation.
“In contrast, Governor Kelly treated Kansas students with dignity and respect by refusing to permit youngsters and college athletics to be treated as a political game. By vetoing this discriminatory legislation she not only took a stand against discrimination, but she also saved Kansas taxpayers the expense of defending this litigation in court, as other states have had to do. Transgender little ones are little ones — they deserve each chance that any kid does. All students, and all Kansans, are superior off since of Governor Kelly’s selection now.”
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