Gov. Kelly vetoes bills on childcare qualifications, ballot provisions and abortion procedures

Today, Kansas Governor Laura Kelly vetoed three bills related to changes to childcare centers, mail-in ballots and healthcare.
Published: Apr. 19, 2023 at 6:49 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Today, Kansas Governor Laura Kelly vetoed three bills related to changes to childcare centers, mail-in ballots and healthcare.

The Office of the Governor announced the vetoes to Senate Substitute for House Bill 2344, Senate Bill 209, and House Bill 2264.

The first bill Governor Kelly vetoed was Senate Substitute for House Bill 2344, establishing childcare licensing requirements relating to license capacity and staff-to-child ratios, eliminating specific license fees and training requirements.

Governor Kelly released the following remarks regarding the veto:

“This bill would reverse the progress we’ve made toward that goal, loosening safety requirements for childcare centers and preventing the state from being responsive to individual communities’ needs. While I agree it’s time to review our childcare policies, we must do it together – and in a way that improves, not harms, our state’s ability to help families and keep kids safe. Therefore, under Article 2, Section 14(a) of the Constitution, I hereby veto House Bill 2344.”

Senator Pat Petty responded to Governor Kelly’s veto of House Bill 2344.

“The biggest barrier to childcare for Kansas families is affordability, and HB 2344 does absolutely nothing to address that, and instead would make these facilities less safe for those who are able to access them. It undervalues quality childcare, increases child-teacher ratios, lowers training requirements, and decreases the required spaces per child inside and out. 90% of a child’s brain development occurs between birth and age five – we should strive to provide them the best, safest, and most enriching environment during that critical period in their lives.”

Representative Daniel Hawkins issued a statement regarding House Bill 2344.

“One of the biggest issues facing Kansas families is a lack of child care options. Governor Kelly’s veto reinforces the failed status quo by choosing overregulation over workable solutions. During veto session, House Republicans will fight for Kansas families by voting to cut government red tape in order to help solve the child care crisis.”

The second bill Governor Kelly vetoed was Senate Bill 209, which requires advance voting ballots to be returned by 7 p.m. on election day.

Governor Kelly issued the following remarks regarding the decision:

“This bill eliminates the three-day grace period for mail-in ballots often used by those in the military serving across the country or overseas.“It would also likely result in too many rural Kansans not having their votes counted in important elections. That is unacceptable. We should be doing everything we can to make it easier – not harder – for Kansans to make their voices heard at the ballot box. Therefore, under Article 2, Section 14(a) of the Constitution, I hereby veto Senate Bill 209.”

House Democratic Leader Vic Miller approves of Governor Kelly’s veto of House Bill 209.

“I support Governor Kelly’s veto of SB 209 completely. I got whiplash when some legislators -- who voted to create the grace period only a few short years ago -- also voted to remove it after seeing an increase in voter participation across the state. To me, an increase in voting is positive. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again. There is a clear reason we have such an anti-democratic bill before the legislature right now: A small group of vocal loonies who can’t tolerate losing. They’re sore losers -- pure and simple. They scream about voter fraud and spread disinformation. Repeated enough, people start to believe it. Our elections are safe and secure. Let the people vote. End of story.”

The final bill Governor Kelly vetoed was House Bill 2264, which enacts the no patient left alone act to allow in-person visitation to certain patients at hospitals, adult care homes, and hospice facilities and establishing a patient’s bill of rights.

Governor Kelly responded to her decision to veto House Bill 2264:

“In August, Kansans made clear that they believe personal healthcare decisions should be made between a woman and her doctor, not politicians in Topeka. This bill would interfere with that relationship and, given the uncertain science behind it, could be harmful to Kansans’ health. Therefore, under Article 2, Section 14(a) of the Constitution, I hereby veto House Bill 2264.”

Senate Democratic Leader Dinah Sykes responded to Governor Kelly’s veto of House Bill 2264.

“It’s one thing for politicians to mislead Kansans about abortion – we saw plenty of that last year, but Kansans saw through the lies and rejected giving politicians power over their personal, private decisions. It’s another, however, to force physicians to lie to Kansans about abortion, and that’s exactly what HB 2264 would do.

“This bill attempts to undermine Kansans’ right to bodily autonomy by willfully forcing blatant misinformation into a healthcare environment. This is an attempt to sway a woman away from making the decision that the people of Kansas resoundingly said she has a right to make on her own. We all want women to be empowered to make the best decision for herself and her family. Lying to women does not empower them; it endangers them.”

Representative Daniel Hawkins responded to Governor Kelly’s veto of House Bill 2264:

“With this veto, Governor Kelly has shown that she does not believe vulnerable women have the right to know all of their options. The Woman’s Right to Know Act does just that, notifying women that the effects of a pill abortion may be reversible using progesterone, a hormone produced naturally during pregnancy. House Republicans stand united to act during veto session to ensure women in this incredibly vulnerable position are provided with all the facts.”

Senator Ty Masterson responded to the three vetoes made by Governor Kelly.

“Not facing re-election again, Governor Kelly had two choices – to honor her campaign pledge to govern from the middle or to move Kansas sharply towards the left. With these three additional vetoes, the governor has clearly chosen the latter. Today, she signaled she wants an endless counting of ballots, she said no to improved access to child care to help working parents, and she even rejected providing women critical information about how to reverse a medication abortion. Altogether, she is now up to six decisions that render any claim to moderation meaningless,” said Masterson.

Governor Kelly also signed House Bill 2335, which increases investment by $5 million per year to improve maintenance of short-line railroad track, along with the following bills:

House Bill 2131: Summarizes the mission of the judicial council, which is to study the administration of justice in Kansas and make recommendations for improvements based on those findings.

House Bill 2172: Enacts the Uniform Trust Decanting Act, which provides additional legal guidance regarding trust decanting, which allows an authorized fiduciary to, under certain conditions and limitations, change or modify the terms of an existing trust by transferring all the assets to a second trust document.

House Bill 2173: Provides consistency and clarity to businesses across Kansas regarding federally-approved refrigerants they can use and prevents local authorities from enacting additional restrictions or regulations outside of the federally-approved scope.

House Bill 2090: Allows the Kansas Insurance Commissioner to lower or eliminate certain fees.

House Bill 2093: Establishes the Group-funded Pools Refund Fund and discontinues payments to certain group-funded insurance pools. The bill changes the premium tax due date for group-funded pools and group-funded workers compensation pools. Additionally, the bill adds fire districts to the definition of “municipality” for the purpose of the payment of COBRA premiums under certain circumstances.

House Bill 2147: Provides a process for an abandoned vehicle to be purchased with a clean title and creates criminal penalties for the sale of counterfeit or nonfunctional airbags.