TOPEKA, Kan. (AP/KCTV) — Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly has vetoed a measure that would have banned transgender athletes from girls' and women's school sports.
The Democratic governor's action Thursday thwarted an effort by conservative Republican lawmakers to make Kansas the latest state with a GOP-controlled legislature to enact such a ban, with more than 20 considering it.
Kelly's veto was widely expected because she had labeled the bill “regressive” and suggested it would hurt the state's ability to recruit businesses.
Conservative Republican lawmakers did not have the two-thirds majorities necessary in both chambers to override a veto when they pushed it to passage earlier this month.
KDP (Kansas Democratic Party) Chairwoman Vicki Hiatt released the following statement after the veto happened:
"SB 55 is a bigoted bill designed by Kansas Republicans to openly bully children while undermining Kansas' economy recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic. Divisive policies push talented young people, families, and businesses away from Kansas while hurting our communities and local businesses. Kansas is an inclusive state and we should remain focused on including all students in extracurricular activities. Thanks to Governor Laura Kelly, this regressive and bigoted bill will not come into fruition."