The absence of 2 pro-life Kansas State Representatives today at the statehouse delayed the effort to successfully override Gov. Mark Parkinson’s veto of late-term abortion reporting reform (HB 2115).
A vote of 82-40, with 3 absent, would have ended the override effort. Pro-life leader Lance Kinzer (R-Olathe) voted against the override ONLY as a procedural move so that another vote could be taken. The House adjourned until Monday at 11 a.m.
Pro-lifers look forward to a “full House” on Monday when the motion to re-vote on the override will be immediately undertaken. We expect to achieve the 2/3 majority of 84 votes needed for override, barring any more absences.
After that, the measure heads to the Senate, where again, the vote will be a nail-biter.
Rep. Rocky Fund (R-Hoyt) who is undergoing chemotherapy, struggled to come today solely for this override vote. Also, a grieving Rep. Jene Vickrey (R-Louisburg) whose mother died Thursday, made a special effort to attend today for this vote.
Unfortunately, the heroics of some of our pro-lifers were undermined by the vote-switching of 5 Democrats who are waffling in their support of this long-sought-after measure.
The biggest shock was the opposition of Dale Swenson (D-Wichita) who consistently votes pro-life. Swenson voted for HB 2115 this year, and its twin last year, but opposed it this morning in the override.
Rep. Raj Goyle (D-Wichita) and Milack Talia (D-Shawnee), who regularly oppose pro-life legislation, voted against override today. Both Talia and Goyle (who is running for the 4th District Congressional seat) had voted for HB 2115 last month. A cynic would say they were probably confident of the governor’s veto and thought they’d cast a pro-life vote in March that abortion supporters could forgive since it wouldn’t have been made law.
Also Tom Burroughs (D-Kansas City) and Sean Gatewood (D-Topeka) voted 3 times in favor of a nearly identical bill last year and this year have voted against HB 2115, and against override. How to figure that?