TOPEKA (KSNT) – Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly has vetoed a bill Thursday that would have blocked transgender women from participating in women’s athletics in the state.
Using her power under Article 2, Section 14(a) of the state Constitution, the governor blocked Senate Bill 55. The bill passed by both sides of the Kansas Legislature would make Kansas public schools and state college teams set up designations for sports based on biological sex: male, female or coed. It would ban any transgender athlete biologically born male from participating in women’s sports.
In order to override Kelly’s veto, the Legislature would need 27 votes in the Kansas Senate and 84 votes in the Kansas House. SB 55 previously passed 26 to 11 in the Senate, and 76 to 43 in the House.
The governor has indicated previously she was against the proposed legislation, citing that it would cause mental harm to athletes and people identifying as transgender.
“This legislation sends a devastating message that Kansas is not welcoming to all children and their families, including those who are transgender – who are already at a higher risk of bullying, discrimination, and suicide.”Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly
Kelly also previously touted similar legislation in another state that caused economic losses for it, and reiterated potential business problems if passed in Kansas.
“This bill would also undoubtedly harm our ability to attract and retain businesses. It would send a signal to prospective companies that Kansas is more focused on unnecessary and divisive legislation, than strategic, pro-growth lawmaking.Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly
The governor said Monday that she hadn’t seen the bill yet, and wouldn’t declare whether she would veto the bill until she read it.