Kansas Governor nixes anti-diversity, abortion budget items

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly vetoed anti-diversity and anti-abortion provisions in Kansas’ next state budget Friday, intensifying a conflict with the Republican-controlled Legislature over culture war issues that could see her scotch a dozen or more conservative initiatives.

The governor can excise budget items. She used that power to cut $2 million of state tax dollars from anti-abortion services providing free counseling, pregnancy and parenting support. She has vetoed before two bills which would have enacted anti-abortion laws despite a decisive statewide vote Abortion rights to be confirmed in August 2022

Kelly vetoed budget provisions that would prevent state universities to use diversity equity inclusion principles when hiring. Kelly vetoed a budget provision that would have prevented state universities from using diversity equity and inclusion principles in their hiring.

Five other bills have also been vetoed by the governor rolling back transgender rights, A sweeping bathroom law and a measure to end gender affirming care for minors were among the measures that Kelly vetoed. The GOP is expected to attempt to override Kelly’s vetoes when they reconvene in the coming week to conclude their year-end business.

“Governor Kelly had two choices — to honor her campaign pledge to govern from the middle or to move Kansas sharply towards the left,” Senate President Ty Masterson, a Wichita-area Republican, said after several vetoes earlier this week. “The governor has clearly chosen the latter.”

This year, Republican statehouses in the U.S. adopted several hundred measures to roll back LGBTQ+ rights. attacking liberal ideas or policies Education and business. While voters in GOP-leaning Kansas affirmed abortion rights and narrowly reelected Kelly last year, they also left conservatives firmly in charge of the Republican-controlled Legislature.

Kelly has until next Monday to take action on a proposed bill that would give parents the right to choose their own children’s schools. to pull public school students out of a lesson or activity that “impairs the parent’s sincerely held beliefs, values or principles.” Also on her desk is a bill that would prevent state and local officials from using environmental, social and governance issues When it comes to investing public money or awarding government contract

On the budget legislation, Kelly followed the traditional Kansas practice of signing the measure itself — containing most of a proposed $24 billion annual budget — while vetoing multiple individual items.

Aid for anti-abortion centers was not needed helped them aid Both pregnant women and new parents will receive supplies, parenting classes, life skills, and job placement or training. It would also have implemented a state-sponsored advertising program that would make them more visible.

The money was placed in the budget of State Treasurer Steven Johnson (a Republican who is against abortion) rather than a department controlled by Kelly, who supports abortion rights. Kelly claimed in her veto letter that neither the state founders nor the treasurers of the time would have considered such a plan as a part of their duties.

“This is not an evidence-based approach or even an effective method for preventing unplanned pregnancies,” Kelly said.

Republican lawmakers hope to pass a bill that will provide tax credits of up to 10 million dollars per year for the donors to these centers.

Kelly this week has vetoed a measure This would have required clinics tell patients that an abortion medication can be reversed by using a regimen that is rejected by the major U.S. Medical Organizations. a bill The law would have exposed doctors to criminal prosecution or lawsuits for delivering a live baby during certain abortion procedures. They would be accused of not giving the same care as they would give in other cases.

On the anti-diversity provisions, Kelly said the one for the board licensing mental health professionals could have restricted training “in life-saving practices,” without being more specific.

She said the provision for state universities would have hindered hiring, made it harder for them to attract federal and private grants and hurt efforts to “support students from all backgrounds.”

House Speaker Dan Hawkins, a Wichita Republican, said Kelly had rejected measures to “support women in need” and prevent “the prevention of radical ideology” using tax dollars.


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