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Senate Bill 561 -- originally called the "Louisiana Academic Freedom Act"; now renamed the "Louisiana Science Education Act" -- passed the Louisiana Senate Education Committee on April 17, 2008.
House Bill 1168 (PDF) was introduced in the Louisiana House of Representatives on April 21, 2008. Dubbed the "Louisiana Academic Freedom Act," HB 1168 is a counterpart of the original version of Senate Bill 561, which was passed, in amended form, by the Senate Education Committee on April 17, 2008. Its sponsor, Frank A. Hoffman (R-District 15), was formerly the assistant superintendent of the Ouachita Parish School System, which in 2006 adopted the controversial policy on which HB 1168 and SB 561 are based.
A day after the legislative session began in Louisiana, the sponsor of Senate Bill 561 was in the news, denying that the so-called academic freedom bill would pave the way for creationism to be taught in the state's public schools.
Senate Bill 561, styled the "Louisiana Academic Freedom Act," was prefiled in the Louisiana Senate by state senator Ben Nevers (D-District 12) on March 21, 2008, and provisionally assigned to the Senate Education Committee, of which Nevers is the chair.
The following is a press release, dated October 17, 2007, from People for the American Way.
Earmark for Anti-Science Creationist Group Must Be Removed
People For the American Way today called for the Senate to remove an earmark for an anti-science creationist group from the FY08 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education appropriations bill. The earmark, inserted by Senator David Vitter of Louisiana, would send taxpayer money to the Louisiana Family Foundation (LFF), a leading advocate of creationism in the state.
Writing in the New Orleans Times-Picayune (September 26, 2007), columnist James Gill takes Senator David Vitter (R-Louisiana) to task for his proposal to grant $100,000 of federal funds to the Louisiana Family Forum "to develop a plan to promote better science education." The Louisiana Family Forum, as Gill observes, "has said the theory o
"Sen. David Vitter, R-La., earmarked $100,000 in a spending bill for a Louisiana Christian group that has challenged the teaching of Darwinian evolution in the public school system and to which he has political ties," reports the New Orleans Times-Picayune (September 22, 2007).
The Louisiana Academy of Sciences adopted a resolution on "intelligent design" at its March 10, 2006, annual business meeting. The resolution [Link broken] (PDF) reads:
Whereas the stated goal of the Louisiana Academy of Sciences is to encourage research in the sciences and disseminate scientific knowledge, and
On June 23 the Louisiana Legislature adjourned its current session. Three proposed measures with anti-evolution implications died at that point. HCR50 and SB1125 never came up for consideration in their assigned committees. HB1782, forbidding the "printing and distribution of false or fraudulent material" was passed in committee, but tabled on the floor of the House of Representatives. Previous items on this page have further information about these measures.
SB1125 was introduced in the state Senate on April 29 and referred to the Committee on Senate and Governmental Affairs. This bill is very similar to HB1782 which was tabled in the House of Representatives on April 30. The Senate committee has taken no action to date on SB1125.