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Repeal bill officially dead

When the Louisiana state legislature adjourned on June 23, 2011, Senate Bill 70 (PDF) — which would have repealed the antievolution law in effect in the state since 2008 — died in committee. SB 70 was introduced by Karen Carter Peterson (D-District 5), but the driving force behind the repeal effort was Baton Rouge high school senior Zack Kopplin, working with the Louisiana Coalition for Science. The bill swiftly won the support of scientists and educators throughout the state and across the nation, including the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the National Association of Biology Teachers, the Louisiana Association of Biology Educators, the American Institute for Biological Sciences, and no fewer than forty-three Nobel laureates. On May 26, 2011, however, the Louisiana Senate Education Committee voted 5-1 to shelve the bill. "With the law intact," as the Christian Science Monitor (June 2, 2011) commented, "Louisiana is the state that has gone the furthest in approving legislation that opens the door to allowing alternatives to science taught in its schools." But Kopplin, in a statement quoted by the Louisiana Coalition for Science, vowed, "we'll come back with an even stronger repeal next session."