Topeka Gov. Bill Graves on Tuesday vetoed a Senate redistricting plan that was put together by a coalition of Democrats and conservative Republicans.
The action will likely ignite an already contentious legislative session in which lawmakers are facing a record budget shortfall.
Graves said the redistricting plan did not go through the proper process of review by the general public and a legislative committee.
In vetoing the plan, Graves sided with moderate Republican colleagues in the Senate. Senate President Dave Kerr, R-Hutchinson, and Senate Vice President Sandy Praeger, R-Lawrence, had called on Graves to kill the measure.
A veto can be overturned by a two-thirds vote in the Senate and House, but it is doubtful Graves' veto will be overridden because the bill was passed by the slimmest of margins in the Senate, 21-19.
The Senate redistricting map was approved by Democrats and conservative Republicans over the wishes of Republican leaders.
Democrats said the proposal was fairer to Democrats and rural interests than a plan earlier endorsed by a Senate committee, which critics said would help conservative Republicans gain seats.
One key difference was over the treatment of Sen. Janis Lee, D-Kensington. Under the Republican leadership plan, Lee's rural district would have been placed in a district represented by Stan Clark of Oakley, a conservative Republican. Neither Lee nor Oakley wanted that.
Under the plan adopted by the Senate, Lee would be matched against Sen. Larry Salmans, R-Hanston. Democrats say Lee would have a better chance of competing against Salmans for re-election.
Those who passed the Senate plan said it represented a bipartisan effort. They said Graves' veto will complicate other issues during the session.