Kansas Governor Protects Barbers, But Not Your BushS

Quiz time! What was Kansas Governor Sam Brownback referring to when he recently vetoed a bill to protect his constituents from excessive bureaucracy and interference, sending "the clear message that Kansas will not accept unnecessary government burdens"?

(A) Abortion Clinics: The Governor has seen the error of his ways and revoked the bill he signed into law last year which imposed the most intensive abortion clinic regulations in the country, originally reserving the right to shut down providers if they didn't have the proper room temperatures, square footage requirements, and square footage of janitor's closets.

(B) Doctor's Offices: The Governor vetoed House Substitute for SB 62, which would expand Kansas' "conscience refusal" statute so that it would be easier for medical officials to refuse patients common contraceptives like the pill, IUDs, and Plan B.

(C) Barber Shops: If you're telling me America is a country where a business owner can't enjoy the right to wield sharp, possibly unsanitary razor blades close to his customers' necks, then I'm moving to Canada.

If you guessed (C), you are correct! The state Board of Barbering sought legislation which would have required ex-barbers and former barber school instructors to retake licensing exams if they'd been out of business for two years, but, thankfully, Governor Brownback set them straight. "It is time to take the parking brake off of the dynamic economic engine that is the Kansas spirit, which if unleashed, will generate growth and prosperity for all," said the governor, who also called the bill "a clear example of the steady growth of state power over economic activity." Speaking of the state's economic activity — the Kansas Attorney General's Office just paid outside lawyers almost $597,000 to defend all of the ridiculous anti-abortion laws they enacted last year, and that's just the start of the state's abortion legislation-related financial woes.

We're not the only ones who see the irony in Governor Brownback's decision. Peter Brownlie, president and chief executive officer of Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri, told the AP that he's considering setting up a barber's chair in their reception area. "We are pro-business if it's the kind of business we like," he said regarding the veto. Republicans: always oh-so-rational and non-hypocritical when it comes to reproductive rights!

In Kansas, Your Barber Is Free From "Unnecessary" Regulations, But Your Vagina is Not [RHRC]