Kansas Senate overrides vetos on parental rights and women's sports bills

The bills will now go to the state House.

Updated: April 26, 2022 - 5:28pm

The Kansas state Senate voted to override Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly's vetos on legislation that would establish a parental bill of rights and ban biological male athletes from competing in women's sports.

With two-thirds majority support, the bills will now go to the state House to determine whether they should become laws.

The bills are part of a "bigger fight" against the left, Republican state Sen. Renee Erickson told "Just the News – Not Noise" in an interview airing Thursday.

"We know that they will use any means at their disposal to further their ideology and their agenda. But we're on to them; parents are on to them," she said, adding, "If anything positive happened from the pandemic, it's [that] parents woke up, and they're seeing what's going on. And they don't like it."

The Senate voted 28-10 on Monday to override the governor's veto on the "Fairness in Women’s Sports Act." If the bill becomes law, Kansas will join more than a dozen states with similar legislation protecting student athletes.

Erickson said the legislation will "ensure that Kansas girls and women have a level playing field when it comes to sports competition."

The Senate overrode the veto on the "Parents’ Bill of Rights" in a 27-12 vote. The bill contains 12 rights parents have over their children, such as "the right to direct the education and care of the parent’s child and the right to direct the upbringing and moral or religious training of the parent’s child."

The bill focuses on "reaffirming that parents are the most important educator in their child's lives and affirming the right that they have to know what is being taught in schools," Erickson noted.

Giving advice to legislators in other states who may want to enact similar laws, Erickson said: "Know that you're on the right side of this issue. Be persistent. Form those relationships with the people you need to and depend on the grassroots."

She optimistically concluded, "Just persist. We might lose it one day, but we'll come back and we'll be successful the next."