TOPEKA, Kan. — Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly has vetoed a bill banning transgender athletes from playing on women sports teams Friday.
The Republican-backed bill, House Bill 2238, would require state athletic teams to be designated as either “male,” female” or “coed/mixed.” The proposal establishes the “Fairness in Women Sports Act,” which supporters argue will level the playing field for women sports, KSNT reports.
The governor shared the following message in a press release, regarding her veto of House Bill 2238 on Friday:
“As I’ve said before, we all want a fair and safe place for our kids to play and compete
That’s why I support the Kansas State High School Activities Association, which was set up to ensure nobody has an unfair advantage on the playing field. The Legislature should let the Association do its job.
Let’s be clear about what this bill is all about – politics. It won’t increase any test scores. It won’t help any kids read or write. It won’t help any teachers prepare our kids for the real world. Here’s what this bill would actually do: harm the mental health of our students. That’s exactly why Republican governors have joined me in vetoing similar bills.
This bill would also reverse the progress we’ve made in recruiting businesses and creating jobs. It would send a signal to prospective companies that Kansas is more focused on unnecessary and divisive legislation than becoming a place where young people want to work and raise a family.
Therefore, under Article 2, Section 14(a) of the Constitution, I hereby veto House Bill 2238.”Gov. Laura Kelly, (D) Kansas
Republicans would need 27 votes in the Senate and 84 votes in the House to override the governor’s veto.
The bill passed the Senate earlier this month 28-11, after passing the House 82-40 in February.