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Lawmakers drop bid to override JoCo’s non-discrimination rules

One thing to know today

A Kansas House committee approved a bill on Monday that would make it easier for municipalities to remove racist and exclusive language from housing documents.

In doing so, the committee also removed a controversial provision in the bill that would have overturned local cities’ nondiscrimination ordinances.

The committee vote was first reported by the Kansas Reflector.

On the one hand, some Johnson County towns, including Roeland Park and Overland Park, support the bill’s primary goal: to pave the way for permanently eliminating racist language in local housing bills and community covenants. homeowners who aim to prevent black and Jewish home buyers from owning property.

Those restrictions are now legally unenforceable, but local officials and supporters have lobbied for their removal, calling them a painful vestige of racism from Johnson County’s past.

But, in turn, both Roeland Park and Overland Park testified in opposition to a provision of the same bill that would have affected city and local county nondiscrimination ordinances and prevented local governments from having nondiscrimination ordinances stricter than the state, which currently does not include sexual orientation and gender identity.

In 2014, Roeland Park became the first city in Johnson County to adopt a local ordinance prohibiting housing, employment and public housing discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

Nearly every other city in Johnson County eventually followed and now has nondiscrimination measures that include sexual orientation and gender identity on their books.

During committee testimony, some critics of the bill’s provision called it a “Trojan horse” pitting Black and Jewish against Kansan’s LGBTQs.

The bill eventually passed the House Local Government Committee on Monday without the provision of the nondiscrimination ordinance.

Tuesday public meetings

The best post monday stories

  • Kate Smith Soirée opens a bakery in downtown Overland Park
  • Limitless Brewing’s new Lenexa taproom is now open
  • JoCo Notes: Overland Park man sentenced to life in prison for murdering teenager
  • Lenexa Church Served 10,000 Curbside Meals Since 2020 and Wants to Keep Going Forward
  • Cause of Overland Park house fire under investigation
  • More local news

    • A dump truck driver has been hospitalized with suspected minor injuries after the truck he was driving crashed into the westbound ramp from I-435 on the K-10 highway in Lenexa Monday morning. [Kansas Highway Patrol]
    • A bill proposed in the Kansas House would require it Kansas schools be in session for a minimum of 195 eight-hour school days per year, up from the current requirement of 186 days for most students. [KCTV]
    • A man is in custody following a stall of hours in a Mission apartment on Sunday which ended with no injuries reported. [KSHB]

    Notable tweets

    Monday was indeed an unusually warm and sunny day in Johnson County.

    It’s a beautiful day in Johnson County pic.twitter.com/HhxfGL7Qa1

    — Johnson County, Kan. (@jocogov) February 20, 2023

    Seniors and low-income residents can apply for scholarships and other assistance to help pay for tuition and Merriam Community Center memberships.

    Eligible seniors over the age of 60 who want a Fit Class Pass can now apply for a scholarship and pay just $5 a month!

    Low Income MCC members can get up to $240 in support per calendar year when purchasing a monthly Fit Class Pass.

    Apply online today or at the MCC Welcome Desk! pic.twitter.com/5li3RBKsoC

    — City of Merriam, Kan (@MerriamKS) February 20, 2023

    And the holiday lights at Kansas City’s Country Club Plaza were turned off last night, ending their long season run. Until Thanksgiving…

    The lights at the Evergy Plaza go out tonight, ending their long season. We hope you enjoyed this gift, Kansas City, that we gave you as part of our centennial celebration.

    Be sure to follow us for more ways we celebrate. pic.twitter.com/m6N3kZSx8d

    — Country Club Plaza (@ThePlazaKC) February 19, 2023

    A thousand words

    A dog enjoys the unusually warm February weather and sunshine by playing fetch at Little Mill Creek Park in Lenexa on Monday afternoon. Photo credit Kaylie McLaughlin

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