Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Sebelius vetoes bad workers' comp bill

Also concealed carry:
Gov. Kathleen Sebelius today vetoed bills that would have allowed the carrying of concealed guns and resulted in the reduction of benefits to some injured workers.

Sebelius said the concealed carry legislation would have made Kansas less safe.

“While every law-abiding Kansan has a right to keep and bear arms, hidden weapons make it harder for law enforcement to do its job, and they make Kansas’ workplaces less safe,” Sebelius said.
Like I say, I'm torn over concealed carry because I think there's a valid concern here. Sebelius has said she'd support extending concealed carry to retired military or police, and I could see allowing people who have restraining orders against someone or can show some specific danger to carry concealed weapons, too.

Obviously, this will play out in the election, and it may give a boost to her opposition.

We'll get a good sample of public opinion in next month's SUSA poll of governors, since this month's just came out.

Sebelius came in at number 13 nationwide. Her approval rating held basically constant, her disapproval ticked up, but not significantly. Republicans slightly increased their approval, from 54% to 57%, Democrats dropped their favorability precipitously (from 80% approval to 64% approval), Independents increased their approval from 51% to 60%. Conservatives approval increased slightly, moderate approval dropped slightly, and liberals held steady. Approval in Western Kansas spiked (from 56% to 74%), while approval in eastern Kansas and the Wichita area dropped slightly.

I expect this veto will push the Republican numbers back down, but it'll be interesting to see what happens with the moderates. Right now, she enjoys majority approval from Republicans, and that gives her a lot of leeway to split moderates and conservatives.

Vetoing the workers' comp bill is good politics and good policy. It honestly does protect working people, and that means it helps union members, which means they'll be more ready to bring Wichita back to the Sebelius camp.