BY ZACK PISTORA, Lobbyist, Sierra Club Kansas Chapter
Sierra Club chapter leaders helped prevent the Kansas legislature from overriding Governor Laura Kelly’s veto of Senate Bill 493. In disregard of Kansas constitutional provisions for home rule , the bill would have prohibited local governments from restricting retail use of plastic containers, including plastic bags and straws. Despite the necessary two-thirds override vote in the Senate, the House fell short by 10 votes.
By submitting testimony, writing letters to local newspapers, and calling and emailing legislators urging them to support the veto, we prevailed over some of the most powerful business interests in the state, including the Kansas Chamber of Commerce.
Although Republican leaders blocked floor debate on a bill to eliminate our 6.5% food sales tax this year, a gradual reduction was approved by a unanimous Senate vote and a House vote of 114-3. The food sales tax will go down to 4% on January 1, 2023, to 2% on January 1, 2024, and to 0% on January 1, 2025.