Legislative Update for April 7, 2024


An election year tax cut plan continues to dominate the 2024 Kansas legislative session. 

After much wrangling, delay, vetoes and veto threats from the Governor on top of hours of debate, legislators finally passed a tax cut bill.

Will Governor Kelly sign the plan into law? The answer is unclear. 

Policy nerds looking for details can comb through the bill here: Kansas Income Tax Plan for 2024  It is a 52-page conference committee report that carries the force of law if signed by the governor. Here is the shorter bill brief, Kansas Income Tax Plan for 2024 BRIEF which is five pages.   

The Kansas Catholic Conference has not weighed in with a position on the tax debate, other than our consistent support for the reduction and eventual elimination of the sales tax on groceries. That provision is in the measure that now goes to the governor. She can sign it into law or veto the plan, which would likely prompt a special session of the legislature. We shall see. 


We are edified by the courage, perseverance and creativity of many Kansas legislators this session. They are seeking concrete solutions and have passed legislation designed to help women with unplanned pregnancies who wish to choose life for their preborn child.   

Because of the infamous Hodes decision by the Kansas Supreme Court, so-called “abortion rights” are virtually unlimited in Kansas. Abortions have more than tripled since that ruling in 2019.  Far too many women believe their only option for an unplanned pregnancy is abortion. We know this is a lie that the predatory, high-profit abortion industry perpetuates.  A crucial step forward is support for alternatives to abortion. Every woman who enters a Pregnancy Resource Center (PRC) or Maternity Home means one less abortion.  

The Life Affirming Tax Package passed by the legislature and contained in Conference Committee Report for HB 2465 has four main components: 

  • It provides for a 70% tax credit for those who donate to qualifying PRCs or Maternity Homes. The abortion industry and secular news media allies consistently mischaracterized the work and mission of PRCs and Maternity Homes as “fake.”   
  • Creates a sales tax exemption for PRCs and Maternity Homes when they buy baby formula, diapers, car seats and other supplies. This will allow them to better focus financial resources on women in need of help.
  • Increases the Kansas adoption tax credit to 100% of the federal adoption tax credit.
  • Creates a tax-friendly adoption savings account for those seeking to adopt children, making the expensive adoption process more affordable. 

We anticipate that the Governor will veto this legislation.  Your help will be needed to convince lawmakers to override that veto. 

Stopping Coerced Abortions is the intent of HB 2436 that now awaits the Governor’s signature–or veto. If this bill becomes law, it will soon be a crime to force or otherwise coerce a woman into having an abortion.  Compelling testimony was offered during the legislative hearing process about how certain physicians, human traffickers, boyfriends and others have exerted tremendous pressure on women with unplanned pregnancies, basically bullying them into having an abortion they did not want.  Forced abortion is not a choice.  This law will criminalize abortion coercion.    

Why do so many women feel abortion is their only option when facing an unplanned pregnancy? 

Enhanced Abortion Reporting in HB 2749 will provide policymakers and others with better and more frequent data about why women choose abortion. All responses are confidential and will only be reported to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE). In fact, women may choose not to answer any questions. The abortion industry is fighting hard against this measure.  This bill is now on the Governor’s desk.  We hope and pray it is signed into law so more data can be collected to better help women with unplanned pregnancies. If it is not signed into law, help will be needed to convince lawmakers to override the veto. 


HELP, NOT HARM is the logical, compassionate answer to the growing gender dysphoria epidemic among young people.  SB 233 Help Not Harm is legislation that will stop surgical gender mutilations, puberty blockers and other hormone manipulations performed on children (17 years old and younger) in Kansas.  We heard horrific testimony from medical professionals as well as teenage victims of these procedures.  This legislation will almost certainly be vetoed by the Governor and an override will then be necessary.

STOPPING CHILDREN FROM VIEWING PORN is the intent of SB 394 Age Verification to View Pornography legislation.  This measure is now on the Governor’s desk and if signed into law, it will be one of the toughest anti-porn laws in the country.  Anyone wishing to access porn will have to verify to an independent 3rd party that they are at the legal age of 18 years or older. Mental health professionals are seeing a dramatic rise in problems associated with young people viewing porn.  This law can help tremendously.  

Criminalizing Suicide Encouragement is a key element of HB 2144. There are websites and videos that actually show teenagers how to commit suicide and encourage them to do so. Testimony was offered showing that people take advantage of the vulnerabilities of others and, in essence, encouraged them to take their own life, which some did.  Suicide rates among young people are a growing problem in Kansas.  We hope this bill, now on the governor’s desk, will not only bring attention to this issue, but help stem this deadly tide.   

CIVIL ASSET FORFEITURE REFORM is a matter of social justice and is supported by the Kansas Catholic Conference.  It looks like reform will become a reality with the passage of SB 458 if the governor signs this bill.  Right now in Kansas, law enforcement agencies have wide discretion about seizing property they believe has been used in the commission of a crime. This tool was originally implemented to crack down on big-time drug lords and organized criminals, but has been increasingly used against small-time offenders and low-income people who do not have the resources to fight back if they are not guilty.  This reform is common sense, and we hope the governor signs it into law. 


Mental Health Intervention Team (MHIT) legislation is in the Kansas Budget, which has been passed.  Our concern is that not enough dollars are currently allocated to allow non-public schools the resources they need to provide mental health services for low-income students. We will continue to fight for this issue when legislators return later this month.  

Funds for the Pregnancy Compassion Act are also currently in the approved Kansas budget. $2 million, first allocated last year, is helping Kansas PRC’s serve women who experience an unplanned pregnancy but wish to keep their child. Our concern is that the Governor will line-item veto these funds that are so crucial for PRCs who help moms with unplanned pregnancies. Your help on an override vote will be needed! 

SB 287 is a bill that would prohibit a healthcare provider from administering medication, diagnostic tests or conducting ongoing behavioral health treatments to a minor in a school facility without parental consent.  This bill was prompted by a report of a school nurse providing birth control pills to a student without parental knowledge. This bill passed the House with broad support but has not been acted on in the Senate.   

The Medical Marijuana proposal is SB 135.  The Kansas Catholic Conference opposes this measure, and it is likely dead for this session, although proponents are looking at creative ways to get a vote.  


As mentioned above, the Legislature returns on Thursday, April 25 for the “veto session,” which will almost certainly be needed to override vetoes.  The Culture of Life legislation we have been working hard on may very well need your help to get over the finish line.  The veto override votes will be very close.  Every voice is needed.   

We will provide you with more updates as events warrant.  Until then, we will persevere.

Chuck Weber, Kansas Catholic Conference