Each week during the 2022 Kansas legislative session, we will provide Blue Valley area legislators the opportunity to share their thoughts about what’s happening in the state capitol.
Below is this week’s submission from Republican Rep. Carl Turner of Kansas House District 28, which covers parts of Leawood and Overland Park.
The views expressed in each Capitol Update are solely those of the lawmaker and are not reflective of the Post’s position on any matter discussed.
Early Saturday morning, the Kansas Legislature wrapped up the regular portion of the 2022 legislative session.
This past week was a busy one, working conference committee reports and voting on legislation including the budget for FY 2023, a constitutional amendment to give the Legislature a veto over rules and regulations, Fairness in Women’s Sports, Parents Bill of Rights, sanctuary cities and work requirements for those receiving state aid.
Now we are on a three-week break before returning April 25 for a short “veto” session where we will wrap up some legislation not yet finished. Most bills we vote on in the House are passed by a large bipartisan majority. However some votes show our very different views.
For instance, on Fairness in Women’s Sports, logic and science say that it is unfair to allow biological men to compete in women’s athletics. There is a reason that men’s and women’s sports have historically been separated and those reasons have not changed. We have spent five decades since the 1972 passage of Title IX law to ensure women and girls have an equal opportunity in competitive sports.
It is unfortunate that we now need legislation to define fairness. We passed a bill last year that was vetoed by the Governor. Since then the issue made headlines as a male college swimmer transitioned to a female swimmer, blew away the competition and shattered women’s records. Last week we passed another bill, SB160, that allows only female-at-birth students to participate in women’s K-12 sports. No Democrat supported the bill.
Next, there was the “Parents Bill of Rights.” This bill, SB 58, simply states that quality education is central to a child’s development and long-term success in life and that a parent has a right to direct the upbringing, education and care of their child. That a parent has a right to obtain critical information about what is being taught or provided in the classroom and to take action when they feel that the quality or content of a child’s education does not align with the values and expectations the parent expects and deserves. No Democrat supported the bill.
Another example is in the area of work requirements to receive welfare. It wasn’t too long ago that both parties agreed on the importance of welfare reform and in giving people a hand up, not a hand out, thereby reducing dependency on government and helping persons to become self-supporting. Last week, the Legislature voted on a bill, Senate Sub for HB2448, to require persons who are receiving food assistance and are age 18-49 with no dependents and not working at least 30 hours a week to participate in a work/training program to learn new skills to help them get a new or higher paying job. No Democrat supported the bill.
Finally, there was a vote on sanctuary cities. One of the most important parts of our democracy is a respect for the rule of law. In recent years, cities and counties around the country have declared themselves above the law and directed their local law enforcement not to cooperate with federal immigration officials who are enforcing the law. For years we’ve heard from the Left that sanctuary cities did not happen in Kansas. Yet, as you may have heard, Wyandotte County did recently when it passed an ordinance that, among other things, created a municipal photo ID that would allow illegal immigrants to vote in local elections. The House passed HB 2717 to make sanctuary cities illegal in Kansas. No Democrat supported the bill.
These are just a few examples of common sense legislation supporting everyday Kansans that got zero Democratic votes. The good news is that despite the opposition from Democrats, they all passed by wide margins and are headed to the governor’s desk.
I encourage you to contact the governor and urge her to sign the bills into law.