Policy that led to overriding Kansas Governor’s veto
TOPEKA, Kan. – FOX4 learns more about the “behind the scenes” of the politics that led to Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly’s redistricting veto being overturned in Congress.
On Tuesday, Republican state Sen. Mark Steffen said the Big First congressional district has long been Kansas’ rural agricultural district.
“Ten years ago, redistricting brought us liberal Manhattan,” Steffen told the Kansas Senate that day. “Now they’re dumping the Lawrence liberals in our lap.”
Tuesday was just a day after he voted no on state Congress cards.
“An insidious recut will kill the true conservative character of my beloved Big First,” he continued.
That same day, he voted yes on state congress cards.
“It’s all been going in a very interesting way over the last couple of days,” Democratic state Sen. Cindy Holscher of Overland Park said Wednesday when asked what she thought of the waiver.
Holscher said there were exchanges between Republican lawmakers Monday through Tuesday.
“Then the next day there were bills that were moving really fast that hadn’t been,” she continued. “Then another vote took place in the Senate, and then the people who originally voted against the veto reversed their votes, and that sealed the deal.”
Steffen, a doctor, wants pharmacists to be able to fill prescriptions for the anti-worming drug Ivermectin to treat coronavirus.
“It was a good time for this map to appear, and maps are a hot topic. Early treatment of COVID is a hot topic,” Steffen said Thursday when asked if he had swapped his vote on the redistricting to fast-track his “ivermectin bill” through the state house.
“It kind of got players on both sides of these issues talking, and we made progress on both sides and got the ball rolling on both the map and an early COVID treatment bill. “
Steffen is also being investigated by the state medical board. When asked Thursday if voting yes on the cards was a way to stop the investigation into him, Steffen said he no longer practices medicine.
“I’ve taken care of a lot of COVID patients,” he said. “I sat on a departmental commission. I’m a medical adviser for one of the counties in Kansas, and I don’t take money for that.
Steffen and fellow Republican state senator Alicia Straub, along with Senate Speaker Ty Masterson were the three senators who reversed their vote from Monday to Tuesday. That gave Republicans just enough votes, the 27 they needed to override the governor’s veto.
Straub is not commenting on his vote change at this time. To see Masterson’s answer to this question, click here. On Wednesday, on the House side, lawmakers had one vote more than needed, 85, to override Kelly’s veto.
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