Will Gov. Laura Kelly sign or veto tax cuts? Here’s what else passed

State lawmakers return to Topeka in a few weeks to consider overriding any vetoes by Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly. But here are the bills they passed in 2024.

by Blaise Mesa


  • State lawmakers passed dozens of bills in the final weeks of session. 
  • Kansas lawmakers passed another tax cut, a top priority for the Republican-controlled Legislature.  
  • Some bills are likely to be vetoed, setting up veto fights in the upcoming weeks.  

Kansas lawmakers approved new tax cuts, bans on gender-affirming cares and some new crimes this year. 

The Republican-controlled Legislature can expect Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly to veto some of the most controversial bills, setting up override votes. 

Legislators finished the regular session and will take a few weeks off before returning for veto session. 

Here’s what happened: 

Tax cuts sent to Laura Kelly

Republicans and Democrats mostly agreed on a package of tax cuts

Kansas might move from a three-tier income tax bracket down to two tiers. The new brackets would tax income 5.15% and 5.55% rates. That replaces the current system of 3.1%, 5.25% and 5.7%. 

Property taxes would also be cut. Homeowners could exempt up to $100,000 in appraised value. Currently, only $40,000 can be exempted. 

Income taxes on Social Security would be eliminated when someone earns more than $75,000 a year and the sales tax on food would end July of this year rather than January 2025. 

In all, it’s a $1.5 billion tax cut over three years. That’s smaller than a previous tax plan Kelly vetoed, but this bill is no guarantee either. 

“I see a future where this is probably going to get vetoed because of every conversation that I’ve had,” said Senate Minority Leader Dinah Sykes, a Lenexa Democrat, during the floor debate. 

These tax proposals are all bundled together, so vetoing the bill vetoes all the measures. Other smaller cuts are scattered throughout other bills. 

The bill has unanimous approval in the House and is currently three votes shy of a veto-proof majority in the Senate, though seven lawmakers did not vote on the bill when it first passed. 

The governor has promised to bring lawmakers back to Topeka for a special session if tax cuts are not passed out. Simply put, if this bill fails, the Legislature has promised to try again. 

Gender-affirming care and a likely Laura Kelly veto

The Republican-controlled Statehouse passed a ban on gender-affirming care. That includes puberty blockers, hormone treatment and genital surgeries for minors. It also prohibits state funds from being used for the procedure and can cost doctors their license if they perform the care. 

The bill is almost guaranteed to be vetoed by the governor, who has rejected similar bills in the past. The ban appears to have passed with a veto-proof majority, but the bill will die if even one lawmaker who approved the ban switches their vote. 

If overridden, doctors say it will cause serious mental health issues for transgender Kansans. 


Two bills related to abortion passed this session. 

The first requires abortion providers to ask patients to identify the main reason someone sought an abortion. Republicans say it will provide valuable information about the process. Democrats say questions — like whether someone lacks family support — are too personal. 

The second bill makes it a felony to physically or financially threaten someone into getting an abortion. Withholding medications or documents like passports is also illegal.  

The bill was originally amended to make other types of reproductive coercion a crime, like messing with someone’s birth control. That was stripped out. The bill has bipartisan support, but there is concern that divorcing someone if they refuse to get an abortion would technically count as coercion. 


Kansas lawmakers want to crack down on ballot harvesting. A proposal headed to the governor would make county election officers track who drops off a mail ballot. If someone delivers more than 10 mail ballots, the county would have to report them to the secretary of state. 

The bill is currently well short of a veto-proof majority in the House. 

An attempt to eliminate the three-day grace period for mail ballots stalled out in the final days of the session. 

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion 

State lawmakers voted to prohibit public universities from hiring, rejecting or promoting staff based on diversity, equity and inclusion ideas. 

The universities would also be required to publicly share their training materials. Violating the law could bring a $10,000 fine. The bill is three votes short of a veto-proof majority in the House, but two Republicans and two Democrats missed that vote. 

Civil asset forfeiture 

Kansas is revamping its civil asset forfeiture laws that allow police to seize assets they believe are tied to crime. For example, taking a car that is used to run drugs from one town to the next. 

But some say law enforcement began taking too many vehicles and money from everyday Kansas without reason. Kansas police took $25.3 million worth of property and money in a three-and-a-half-year period. Between July 2019 and Dec. 2022, 79% of people who lost their property were not convicted of a crime and only 10% of seized property was returned, according to an Americans for Prosperity review

Lawmakers have now agreed to reduce the number of crimes that could count toward seizure. If signed into law, the bill requires police to give a reason to seize someone’s asset and lets people petition the court to argue their seizure was too extensive. 

Age verification for porn sites 

Lawmakers want to require Kansans to verify their age when accessing certain websites. More than 25% of that website must knowingly share content that is harmful to minors. 

The bill doesn’t specifically call out pornographic websites, but those entities would be subject to the law. There is some concern that harmful content is too broad a term and could sweep up other websites actually aren’t harmful to minors.   

Encouraging suicide 

Encouraging someone to kill themself could soon be a felony. More severe penalties kick in if the person commits suicide. 

This article was republished here with the permission of: The Beacon