Kansas laws took a turn to the right this week, as a range of bills described as anti-union, anti-abortion and anti-gun control were signed by the governor.
On Friday, April 19, Gov. Sam Brownback signed into law an anti-abortion bill. HB 2253 states that life begins at fertilization; changes the general and late-term abortion statutes; and bans abortions related to the gender of the unborn child.
Earlier this week, Brownback signed a pro-gun lobby law.
Under the law, people who hold concealed carry permits may carry weapons into public buildings in Kansas. There are some exemptions to this law. Some universities and post-secondary schools will be able to prohibit concealed carry. If they comply with some requirements asking for better security, local governments may be able to continue their bans on concealed carry in public buildings.
Other gun legislation that was signed into law says federal agents can’t regulate guns made, sold and stored in Kansas.
Earlier in this week, the prevailing wage ordinance in Kansas City, Kan., was ended by a state law that prohibits local governments from requiring contractors to pay wages above state or federal minimum wage. The governor signed the law on Tuesday.
The prevailing wage ordinance in Kansas City, Kan., had been successfully used in tandem with economic development efforts creating a thriving climate for Wyandotte County retail stores, manufacturing and tourism during the past several years, according to Unified Government officials, who support the prevailing wage ordinance. The state law is considered to be an anti-union measure.
Also on Friday, the governor signed a bill merging the Kansas Department of Transportation with the Kansas Turnpike Authority. He said HB 2234 would save the state money through sharing resources. Highway department officials said they would look for savings through consolidation and reduction of assets such as land and buildings, and sharing resources in technology and engineering services. Toll revenues will still be used only for improvement and maintenance of the turnpike, officials pledged.
The laws that were signed take effect July 1.