Our friends at the National Center for Science Education (NCSE) have posted two items at their website. We’ll discuss them both, adding a bit of bold font for emphasis. Their first is Antiscience bills die in Florida. They say:
House Bill 899 and Senate Bill 1018 both died in committee on March 11, 2016, when the Florida legislature adjourned. Ostensibly aimed at empowering taxpayers to object to the use of specific instructional materials in the public schools, the bills were promoted by groups with a record of objecting to the treatment of evolution and climate change in textbooks … .
We wrote about those bills back in December — see Florida Creationism: New Bills for 2016. The two bills were identical, except that one was in the Florida Senate, and the other in the House. The House bill was sponsored by Ray Pilon, a retired law enforcement officer. The Senate bill was sponsored by Alan Hays, a retired dentist. Back in 2008, when he was a member of the House, he sponsored a companion bill to go along with the Senate’s creationism bill sponsored by rapturous Ronda Storms.
NCSE reports, and the legislature’s website confirms, that both bills died in committee. Florida hasn’t been much fun for us since rapturous Ronda retired.
Now for the Louisiana news. NCSE’s post is Louisiana to repeal 1981 creationist law?. Don’t get excited, dear reader. It’s not about the infamous Louisiana Science Education Act, a flamingly creationist law modeled after the Discoveroids’ Academic Freedom bill, which was passed almost unanimously in 2008 by the then Democrat dominated legislature, and it was eagerly signed by Governor Bobby Jindal. That thing is still alive and well, despite several attempts to repeal it (none this year, so far). Regarding the new bill, NCSE says:
[This is] Claitor’s third attempt to repeal the law. In 2013, his amendment to Senate Bill 205 to repeal the 1981 law was approved by the Senate — despite the opposition of Ben Nevers (D-District 12), the senate sponsor of the so-called Louisiana Science Education Act of 2008,
NCSE is talking about another effort by Republican Senator, Dan Claitor, to do the same thing we wrote abut two years ago in Louisiana Keeps “Equal Time for Creationism” Law. It’s the law that was declared unconstitutional in Edwards v. Aguillard, back in 1987. The creationist legislature is keeping it on the books so they can use it again in case the Supreme Court changes its mind. As we said before about Claitor’s earlier bill, it’s an attempt to empty the historical trash bucket; but Louisiana likes its trash. There really is no hope for that state.
Does Claitor’s new bill have a chance? Probably not. You can read it at the legislature’s website: Senate Bill 156. It’s very short, and it just says that the existing section of law providing “Balanced Treatment for Creation-Science” is repealed. You can follow its progress here. At the moment, his bill is sitting in the Senate’s Committee on Education. If the past is any guide, it’ll die there.
The Louisiana legislature convened today, and it’s scheduled to adjourn on 06 June. There’s still time for another attempt to repeal the Louisiana Science Education Act of 2008. We’ll be watching.
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