Kansas Lawmakers Override Vetoes on Taxes, Guns, Elections
Republican lawmakers in Kansas have cut income taxes, lowered the age for carrying a concealed gun and tightened state election laws by overriding Democrat Gov. Laura Kelly’s vetoes of those measures.
“They listened to folks back home,” House Speaker Tem Blaine Finch said of GOP lawmakers. “It’s because of, really, the grassroots in their communities telling them, ‘Hey, this is important to us.’”
But Senate Minority Leader Dinah Sykes, a Lenexa Democrat, derided the “veto override-a-rama.” “Today leaves no doubt: The Kansas Legislature is more extreme than ever,” she said in a statement.
The Legislature overrode Kelly’s veto of a bill that would create a special concealed carry permit for 18-, 19- and 20-year-olds, and that’s a major victory for gun-rights advocates. The state already allows people 21 and older to carry concealed guns without a permit and adults can carry them openly, but Kelly’s election had advocates of tougher gun laws hoping for a roll back of Kansas’ generally loose policies.
The votes were 84-39 in the House and 31-8 in the Senate. The measure also expands Kansas’ recognition of other states’ concealed carry permits.
Republicans overturned Kelly’s veto of an elections bill making it harder for individuals and groups to collect absentee ballots and deliver them for voters.
House Bill 2183 focuses largely on mail-in voting. It limits who is permitted to return a mail-in ballot for another person and makes it a misdemeanor for one person to return more than 10 mail-in ballots. The measure also requires the signature on a mail ballot to match the signature election officials have on file, creating a potential for votes to be discarded, and bans the Secretary of State from extending mail-in vote deadlines.
The bill also makes it illegal to backdate a postmark on a ballot and bars election offices from accepting money from any entity other than the state for administering elections.
The votes were 85-38 in the House and 28-12 in the Senate.
GOP lawmakers said they are preventing fraud, arguing that the more people who handle absentee ballots, the more likely those ballots are to go missing or be altered. “Having someone cherry pick whose ballot gets picked up and turned in is not appropriate,” Finch said.
-Bans Ballot Harvesting
-Bans Private Funds from being used to administer elections (Ex. Zuckerberg)
-Prohibits SOS or Governor from making emergency changes to election laws
— Tim Swain (@SwainForSenate) May 3, 2021