Most of the US state legislatures have already adjourned for the year, or they will adjourn in early June. A few remain in session almost year-round, such as Michigan, New Jersey, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. The life, liberty, and property of the people in those few states are never secure, but they’re usually not hotbeds of creationist legislative activity.
For the rest of the country, the law makers have already gone home, or they will in a week or so. We are pleased to report that it’s been another good year, at least in terms of creationism. Our focus is primarily on versions of the Discovery Institute’s Academic Freedom bill. We’ve critiqued their model bill here: Curmudgeon’s Guide to “Academic Freedom” Laws.
As you know, the only states crazed enough to have enacted the Discoveroids’ bill are Louisiana and Tennessee. During the several years we’ve been watching, no other state that has considered such legislation has enacted it. Here’s what’s happened (at least so far) during this year’s legislative activity:
Florida considered enacting a law that would let parents object to specific instructional materials on the grounds that they weren’t balanced. It would have opened the courthouse door for parents who object to evolution. See Florida Creationism: New Bills for 2016. Identical bills in the state House and Senate died in committee when the legislature adjourned — see Florida and Louisiana Creationism News.
Idaho considered a law that would allow the bible to be used as a school text in several subjects, including astronomy, biology, and geology. After some amendments to remove those subjects from the bill, it was passed by the legislature, but then it was vetoed — see Idaho’s 2016 Creationism Bill — Strange News.
Mississippi considered a version of the Discovery Institute’s bill, but it quickly crashed and burned — see Mississippi’s 2016 Creationism Bill — Dead. The bill’s sponsor didn’t know he was supposed to lie about its purpose. He told the press he introduced it so that teachers could present creationism in science classes. It was so embarrassing that the Discoveroids contacted the legislature and requested that the bill be withdrawn.
There were Two Oklahoma Creationism Bills for 2016. One died in committee, and we wrote about that here: One Oklahoma 2016 Creationism Bill — Dead. We never heard any news about the other. It seems to have remained in committee, and the legislature will adjourn tomorrow, so that one is effectively dead too.
South Dakota considered a Discoveroid bill, but that died in committee. See Is South Dakota’s Creationism Bill Dead?
Tennessee, which already has a Discoveroid creationist bill, tried to make the bible the official state book. It passed the legislature, but the governor vetoed it (because it wasn’t sufficiently respectful of the bible), and the legislature failed to override the veto — see Tennessee Bible Bill Veto Override Vote Today.
And that’s it. We haven’t found any other creationist legislation to write about. Once again, it’s been a catastrophic year for the Discovery Institute. We look forward to more of the same.
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