Florida Creationism Bills Approach Climax

THIS IS THE FINAL WEEK of the Florida legislature’s current session, and they still have a lot to wrap up during these last few days. We imagine it’s a dizzying whirl of last-minute lobbying, fund-raising, deal-making, drinking, whoring, speech-making, press-pandering, and bribe-taking.

According to this article in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Session’s final week features controversial measures:

The House and Senate are likely to vote out the budget agreement on Friday, the session’s last day. But if this week is anything like last week, when lawmakers jousted over abortion, license tags, evolution, religious license plates and a new state song, it could be a wild ride.

“My constituents have heard stories about us passing guns-to-work and debating evolution and they ask me, ‘What’s going on here?'” said House Democratic Leader Dan Gelber, D-Miami Beach. “It’s a very strange session.”

Strange indeed! In this from the Orlando Sentinel, ‘Freedom’ bill yet to see a final vote, we read:

Though the Senate passed its “academic freedom” bill Wednesday, the House has not yet voted on its version, which is quite different. The Senate rejected an amendment that would have made its bill identical to the House’s.

[…]

The Senate bill is modeled on an Academic Freedom Act proposed by the Discovery Institute, backers of the theory of intelligent design. The more-stripped-down version in the House just says students must be given a “thorough presentation and critical analysis” of evolution.

We interrupt to show you the creationist website from which State Senator Ronda Storms (R) got her creationism bill: Academic Freedom Act.

Okay, continuing with the article:

The bills were proposed just weeks after the State Board of Education adopted new science standards for public schools. The standards were controversial because for the first time they require students be taught evolution — and that it is a “fundamental concept” underlying all of biology.

One Tallahassee lobbyist said he thought these bills might pass this year because the budget is bad and lawmakers cannot bring home things that cost money. A social-issue bill that might please some constituents (or a lot of constituents, depending on the district) would be manageable.

Okay, Curmudgeon fans, that’s where we are on this Monday morning. Hang on. It’s going to be an interesting week.

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