Loud Light Kansas Politics Recap: trans sports ban passes, anti-abortion funding, gutting bills, vouchers
The Pitch has partnered with a local political awareness organization called Loud Light. Their goal is to engage and empower individuals from underrepresented populations to build community power. And impact decision-makers. Each week of the year that the Kansas statehouse is in session, they release a short video recapping what the legislature is up to.
Knowing the nitty-gritty of what’s happening with your representatives is the only way to stay involved with the way local government affects your life. You can donate to support Loud Light’s work by clicking here.
Here is this week’s video and transcription:
Hey I’m Davis Hammet with Loud Light! Here’s what happened in the 9th week of the 2023 Kansas legislative session.
Trans Sports Ban Passes (HB 2238)
The Senate passed a bill banning transgender girls from playing sports after rejecting an amendment that would have exempted elementary students. The failed amendment came from the major privacy and safety concerns around verification which can require young children to have their genitals inspected in order to play sports. The controversial bill now heads to Governor Kelly’s desk where she’s anticipated to veto it for the 3rd year in a row setting up another close veto override attempt in a few weeks.
Voucher (SB 83)
Republicans on the K-12 Budget Committee used the controversial gut-n-go procedure to transform a bill passed by the Senate into something known as a “Christmas Tree Bill.” The bill combines a variety of pro public education proposals like increasing special education funding which has been at illegally low levels in exchange for funneling millions of dollars into unregulated private religious schools. The intermixing of proposals is designed to make it so those who oppose transferring tax dollars into private schools can be framed as opposing special education funding. The bill is now headed to the House floor.
Anti-Abortion Funding (HB2429)
The Legislature has continued to advance several bills targeting abortion access despite Kansans voting in August for the Legislature to stop restricting access. A House Committee advanced a bill that would divert nearly $2 million per year away from TANF which assists low-income families with basic necessities and instead give those tax dollars to anti-abortion groups to launch media campaigns targeting Kansans with unplanned pregnancies and opposing abortion.
Coming Up: Medical Marijuana (SB135), Water (HB2279 & HB2302), Oil Spill and more hearings!
This coming Tuesday House Committees will question TC Energy officials about their massive December oil spill in Kansas and a Senate Committee will begin hearings on two bills that aim to protect the state’s water supply by stabilizing the aquifer and investing in water infrastructure projects. Wednesday there will be a rally in support of Medicaid expansion and a Senate committee will begin a two day hearing on Senate Bill 135 to legalize medical marijuana. Thanks for commenting, sharing, and discussing what’s happening.
Stay tuned, stay engaged, and until next time, thank you so much Kansas!