Loud Light’s weekly Kansas politics recap: veto, investigation, vouchers, and election conspiracy

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 transcription:

Hey, I’m Davis Hammet with Loud Light. Here’s what happened in the 4th week of the 2022 Kansas legislative session.

Redistricting Map Veto

On Thursday, Gov. Kelly (D) officially vetoed the Ad Astra 2 Congressional map saying the map violated several of the legislature’s own redistricting guidelines and split up neighborhoods with no explanation. The Governor asked legislators to send her a bipartisan consensus map. Republican leadership responded that they would work to override her veto in short order. Republicans have a 2/3rds supermajority which would allow them to override the Gov. and force the map into law; however, it’s unclear if every single Republican is onboard with the controversial map.

Defunding Medical Investigations

The House Higher Education Budget Committee took up a measure that would defund prescription investigations by the state’s medical board. The measure pushed by Rep. Burris (R) would obstruct and potentially stop the ongoing investigation into Sen. Steffen (R) the Hutchinson anesthesiologist who has pushed pseudoscience throughout the pandemic. The House’s main budget committee will consider the defunding proposal on Monday.

Private School Vouchers

A House education committee heard a bill that would take away enrollment decisions from local school boards and make it so that students can enroll in any district across the state. The committee also heard a renewed proposal to create private school vouchers that would allow parents to use public money to send their kids to private schools.

Election Conspiracy

A Senate committee heard a presentation on “Election Integrity” that did not include anyone involved in administering or studying elections. The main presenter was Doug Frank, an associate of My Pillow’s Mike Lindell. Frank has been traveling the country pushing the conspiracy that Donald Trump won the 2020 election. Despite Trump winning the vote in Kansas by 15%, Frank made unsubstantiated claims that the election here was fraudulent. The committee now plans to take up several proposals to restrict voting access in Kansas based on the presentation.

Coming Up 

Despite a looming deadline, the APEX bill that hopes to lure a massive advanced manufacturing facility to Kansas is being reworked this coming week. Lots of hearings are coming up on bills to ban ballot drop boxes, legalize short term health plans, reduce regulations on booze at the state fair, and more. Stay tuned, stay engaged, and until next time, thank you so much Kansas!

Categories: Politics