Capitol Update: Rep. Clayton urges legislature to sustain veto of trans athlete bill

"Ostensibly marketed as a feminist piece of legislation by legislators whose voting records otherwise reek of misogyny, this bill serves as another nail in the coffin for a state that is bleeding young people" writes Stephanie Clayton, a Democrat representing the state's 19th House District. File photo.

Each week, we provide Shawnee Mission area legislators the opportunity to share their thoughts about what’s happening in the state capitol. Rep. Rui Xu, Rep. Linda Featherston and Sen. Cindy Holscher are scheduled to send updates this week.

Below is the submission from Democratic State Rep. Stephanie Clayton of House District 19. 

The Kansas legislature is heading back to Topeka on May 3rd to begin our annual ‘veto session.’ While we may still finalize some legislation, such as our budget package, much of these last few weeks will be spent considering many of the vetoes made by Gov. Laura Kelly.

At the time of this writing, the governor has vetoed eight bills, and by the time you read this, there may have been more.

When a veto occurs, the legislature has the opportunity to override or sustain it. Legislative leadership may also choose to let a veto stand by not bringing a veto up for override consideration.

In the House, 84 of the 125 members must vote ‘yes’ in order to override a veto. Anything less than 84, and the legislation in question does not become law.

One such piece of legislation that may be brought up for an override vote is SB 55, the anti-trans athlete bill.

Ostensibly marketed as a feminist piece of legislation by legislators whose voting records otherwise reek of misogyny, this bill serves as another nail in the coffin for a state that is bleeding young people.

I opposed this legislation, not only because I believe in equality for all Kansans, but because our business community spoke out strongly against it. Our Chambers of Commerce know that backward legislation such as this sends the signal that Kansas is closed for business.

We are seeing an evolution both at the state and the national level as to what does and does not constitute “pro-business”. Many people think that low taxes alone are what draw businesses to various areas, and allow people to start and grow their own businesses. And, tax policy is certainly an important part of the puzzle.

But, like all complicated issues, numbers alone do not breed prosperity. A stable environment in which people treat all other people with respect and dignity is the solid foundation upon which prosperity grows. This includes treating all Kansans equally. It includes keeping murder weapons out of the hands of convicted stalkers. It includes making elections as free, fair, and easy to participate in as possible. It includes educating all Kansans equally. It includes rejecting the symbols of violent insurrectionists who threaten the very fabric of our nation.

As the legislature reconvenes for our wrap-up session to consider these vetoes, watch us carefully, and see if we choose stability and prosperity, or chaos and destitution. Remember these choices that we make, and vote accordingly.

I work for you! You can reach me at stephanie.clayton@house.ks.gov. You can also follow me on twitter @sscjocoks. Find me on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/clayton4kansas, and watch for my monthly virtual town halls.