Brownback vetoes bill expanding Kansas raffles

A bill that would have allowed limited expansion of charity raffles was vetoed by Gov. Sam Brownback on Thursday.

The Republican governor said he determined the bill violated the Kansas Constitution’s provisions on lotteries and gambling.

“However, I support the Legislature’s policy goal of permitting certain limited raffles for charitable purposes,” Brownback said in a statement. “I encourage the Legislature to consider a constitutional amendment to accomplish this goal.”

The vetoed bill also had provisions amending a state criminal code concerning the Kansas Bureau of Investigation’s collection of DNA samples and a sentencing rule for firearms violations.

House Judiciary Chairman Lance Kinzer, an Olathe Republican, raised the same concerns as Brownback when the House approved the measure by a 74-49 vote on May 9. Kinzer filed a formal protest to the vote. The Senate adopted the bill 40-0 on April 4 before beginning a monthlong recess.

“The action of the House in passing HB 2120 was ill considered and inconsistent with our carefully balanced constitutional frame work regarding gambling in Kansas,” Kinzer said.

Senators supporting the measure said they would seek other opportunities to advance the DNA and firearms provisions, and hoped that something could be worked out to allow charities to continue their practice of holding raffles.

“We have to be able to have a common sense solution to having a local church to raffle off cakes or a local Lions Club to raise money for scholarships,” said Senate Vice President Jeff King, an Independence Republican.

Brownback signed six bills Thursday, including one establishing “Celebrate Freedom Week” in public schools and amending a law on bullying in schools. The measure would also let school districts use certain unencumbered funds for certain general operating expenses.

Celebrate Freedom Week was pushed as a means to encourage school districts to focus on study of the U.S. Constitution, the Declaration of Independence and other founding documents that establish individual rights and liberties. The bill was amended before going to Brownback to limit the scope to kindergarten through eighth grade because of concerns it would interfere with the sequence of topics in high school curriculum.

Brownback has vetoed two bills from this session while signing another 126. Legislators are still seeking to find resolution on the 2014 and 2015 state budget, as well as changes to the state’s sales and income tax rates.