This one didn’t survive very long. It was only a week ago that we posted North Dakota Creationism Bill for 2019. It was one of those “strengths and weaknesses” bills, modeled after the Discovery Institute’s anti-science, anti-evolution, pro-creationism Academic Freedom Act, and it had five sponsors.
We didn’t know what to expect, but we certainly weren’t expecting this headline at the website of our friends at the National Center for Science Education (NCSE): “Strengths and weaknesses” bill in North Dakota withdrawn. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:
North Dakota’s House Bill 1538 (PDF), which would have allowed the misrepresentation of science in the classroom, was withdrawn from further consideration by its chief sponsor on January 22, 2019.
What? The bill was filed on 14 January, and there hadn’t yet been any committee activity at all. We clicked on our link for tracking the progress of the bill — Bill Actions for HB 1538 — and discovered these two items in the House Journal:
REP. LOUSER MOVED that HB 1538 be returned to the House floor from the Education Committee for the purpose of withdrawal, which motion prevailed on a voice vote.
REP. HOVERSON REQUESTED the unanimous consent of the House to withdraw HB 1538. There being no objection, it was so ordered by the Speaker.
Hoverson, a preacher, was one of the bill’s sponsors. But who is Louser? Here’s his bio page at the legislature’s website: Scott Louser. He’s the Assistant Majority Leader in the House of Representatives. Apparently that’s how bills get withdrawn in North Dakota.
So there you are, dear reader. We have no clue about the cause of what happened, but the tale will be told and it’s likely to be interesting. We’ll be watching.
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