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Tipsheet

Dem Governor Vetoes Florida-Style Parental Rights Bill and Legislation Protecting Women’s Sports

AP Photo/John Hanna, File

Democratic Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly vetoed a pair of bills on Friday, one which bans biological male transgender athletes from girls’ sports and another which makes it easier for parents to remove materials from public school students’ curriculum. 

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NBC News reported that neither of the bills cleared the Republican-majority state legislature with a two-thirds majority needed to override the governor’s veto.

In a veto message, Kelly claimed that the transgender athlete ban would be bad for businesses in the state, saying that Kansas “is more focused on unnecessary and divisive legislation than strategic, pro-growth lawmaking.” She added that the legislation “came from politicians trying to score political points.”

Kansas Senate President Ty Masterson, a Republican, reportedly said that the bill is “about protecting the woman who worked and trained all her life and should not have her hard work wiped out by being forced to compete on unlevel playing fields.”

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt said previously that he would sign the measure. He is currently running for governor. 

As for the parental rights bill, Kelly wrote in her veto letter that it was created over “politics, not parents” and added that the measure would be at the center of lawsuits. 

“Money that should be spent in the classroom would end up being spent in the courtroom,” she wrote.

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Two Republican governors, Gov. Eric Holcomb of Indiana and Gov. Spencer Cox of Utah, have vetoed similar bills prohibiting biological male athletes from women’s sports. Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear recently did the same.

However, several GOP governors have recently signed legislation to protect women's sports, such as Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds and Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey. 

In an interview with Fox News, Stitt said that he thinks the law is “common sense” and that “biological males cannot compete in women’s sports.” 

“We’re not going to let it [biological males] be an unfair advantage against them [women],” he added.

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