At 10:18 Friday night the last chamber of the legislature adjourned sine die. Both chambers quickly passed the budget which they are constitutionally mandated to pass before they go home every year. This means unless Gov. Kelly vetoes the budget, and we are called into a special session, the 2023 legislative session is done! And by far this is the most successful session yet for family values. On issues we care about, both chambers overrode the Governor seven times!

This is a major shift in the legislature. The last couple years we were grateful for a veto override on one or two bills. And after the election last fall, I wasn’t at all confident that even that was possible even though I knew our legislature was much more conservative than it had been in the past. I’ve watched us come close to transformational victories before and not be able to make it across the finish line – normally because of personal pettiness.

And the beginning of session began to confirm my worst fears. Even though we have 85 Republicans in the House, two of them voted with the Democrats more than they did with their own party. If you remember we need 84 votes. 85 minus 2 equals 83 which means we were slated to be one vote short on almost all our overrides. We worked tremendously hard to flip at least one of the two Republicans to no avail.

But God showed up. He did what seemed impossible. And He did it in the most unlikely way as He often does. And this time He raised up a Democrat from Kansas City, Kansas, Rep. Marvin Robinson, who despite threats from his own party, knows what a woman is and knows that moms deserve basic information & support when considering abortion. Rep. Robinson bravely voted with us on every override despite the vilest things being said about him. He stood for truth and sanity.

And the Legislature was functioning with some physical handicaps that made these votes even harder. One legislator gave birth to her third child just weeks ago. Another legislator, Rep. Troy Waymaster, had a farming accident Sunday right before they came back last week, and his hand was bandaged up all last week. Rep. Adam Thomas, was hit in the face with a fast ball less than two weeks ago causing severe damage to his face and eye. He wasn’t supposed to be up, but he made arrangements to be at the Capitol to vote on the overrides last Wednesday. When he briefly stepped into the gallery to vote “Aye” the entire room erupted in applause. These are all things that could have derailed these overrides, but they didn’t.

Before we get into all the stats and the votes, I think it’s important to take time to hear the stories about the people. Your legislators are real people with real things going on in their lives just like you. They need your prayers and your encouragement. Being a legislator, a lot of days it isn’t fun. Most don’t do it for the glory. Most do it because they genuinely care about the state. We are so thankful for all those that made huge personal sacrifices (many of which none of us will ever know about) to ensure good policy went into law for Kansans.  

And on that note – let’s get into the details of the bills we were tracking for the year and how they turned out:

  • H.B. 2238 – The Fairness in Women’s Sports Act – Overrode Gov. Kelly’s veto 84-40 in the House and 28-12 in the Senate. See how your legislators voted here!
  • S.B.180 – Women’s Bill of Rights – Overrode Gov. Kelly’s veto 84-40 in the House and 28-12 in the Senate. See how your legislators voted here!
  • H.B. 2313 – Born Alive Infant Protection Act – Overrode Gov. Kelly’s veto 87- 37 in the House and 31-9 in the Senate. You can see how your legislature voted here!
  • H.B. 2264 – Abortion Pill Reversal Informed Consent Act and Clarification of Abortion Definition – Passed the House 84-40 and the Senate 29-11. See how your legislators voted here!
  • S.B. 26 – Childhood Gender Mutilation Prevention Act – Failed by one vote in the Senate. We are saddened that this bill failed this year. These harmful procedures are happening in Kansas. We will keep working to ensure these experimental procedures cannot happen in Kansas. See how your Senators voted here!
  • H.B. 2325 – Removes Abortion Providers from the Healthcare Stabilization Fund – Passed House on a vote of 84-40 but it died in the Senate. This Bill ensures that abortion providers cannot be a part of the government benefits given under the Healthcare Stabilization Fund. This Fund gives medical providers supplemental insurance coverage. See how your legislators voted here!
  • SB 228 – Prison Reform Bill – broad prison reform bill that includes a provision that ensures that men cannot be placed in women’s prions. Overrode Governor’s veto 87-39 & 31-9. See how your legislator voted here!
  • HB 2138 – Separate Sex Spaces for School Overnight Trips – This bill also provides some relief for families in districts where schools are closing. Overrode Governor’s veto 85-39 in the House and 30-9 in the Senate. See how your legislator voted here!
  • H.B. 2024 – Newborn Safety Device Bill – The Governor did sign this bill into law because it included other policy she liked. This law allows designated areas to install devices to receive newborns that a parent no longer feels capable of caring for and desires to surrender. These devices protect the child from the elements and alert emergency personnel to the child’s presence to ensure the child receives care. To see how your legislator voted and read more information about the bill, click here!
  • S.B. 113Education Funding Bill – This bill was just sent to the Governor but it includes the funding for schools for next year as well as several key policy provisions we support. It includes an expansion to the low-income tax credit as well as a provision to ensure that homeschool students can participate in public school athletics. We still need Gov. Kelly to allow this to become law.
  • H.B. 2089 – Education Savings Accounts – the new version of this bill was never debated on the floor. While we were disappointed this bill did not move forward, we are committed to continue to find creative solutions to provide more choice for Kansas families.  
  • Died in House. H.B. 2236 – Parental Rights Bill – Died in the House with a vote of 78-45.

There is a difference with this class of legislators. They are willing to try things. They are willing to be courageous. We are so thankful for their boldness. We look forward to taking some time to plan for the coming year.

And just because session is done, doesn’t mean we’re done. Be on the lookout in the coming months on some exciting new things we are working on to help Kansas families. And as always we will continue to update as things going on in our state and how you can get involved. As always, we always appreciate your financial support of our ministry as we work to promote biblical citizenship in Kansas. I

May God bless Kansas!



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