The ACLU of Kansas broke new ground on voting rights protections while blocking attacks on immigrants and reproductive rights.
The 2019 Kansas Legislative Session opened optimistically for civil liberties and civil rights advocates hopeful that changes in leadership might usher in a new era of bipartisanship and progress. But conflicts only escalated with renewed extremist attacks on LGBTQ Kansans, women’s reproductive rights, and immigrants, while action stalled on sorely needed criminal justice reforms.
Still, we responded with a strong legislative offense and a rugged legislative defense.
We pushed Election Day Registration onto the legislative radar through unprecedented hearings in the House and the Senate election committees. We prevailed on Senate Bills 129 and 130, which mandated that County Clerks attempt to correct a signature mismatch before rejecting ballots. We also blocked a hearing on a House bill giving ICE agents the power to make warrantless arrests. Lastly, when the legislature passed a bill requiring doctors to misinform women about “abortion reversal” and the governor vetoed it, we lobbied to support her veto, which the House sustained by a single vote.
This 2019 session, we held important political ground while paving the way for new legislative endeavors next session.