On April 20, 2017, House Bill 989 passed the Florida House of Representatives on a 94-25 vote, while its counterpart, Senate Bill 1210, passed the Senate Appropriations Committee on a 16-0 vote. 

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Walter R. Hearn (right) with his wife Virginia Hearn, via ASA.

Walter R. Hearn, a biochemist active in defending evolution within evangelical circles, died on April 11, 2017, at the age of 91, according to the American Scientific Affiliation (April 14, 2017).

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Florida's House Bill 989 and Senate Bill 1210  — bills aimed at empowering taxpayers to object to the use of specific instructional materials in the public schools, with climate change and evolution clearly among the targets — were the subjects of sharp criticism in a pair of commentaries.

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Oklahoma's Senate Bill 393 (PDF), which would empower science denial in the classroom, was passed on a 4-3 vote by the House General Government Oversight and Accountability Committee on April 13, 2017. 

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Union of Concerned Scientists logo

NCSE's Ann Reid, Glenn Branch, and Steve Newton contributed a guest commentary discussing the Heartland Institute's mailing of climate change denial material to teachers to the blog of the Union of Concerned Scientists (April 12, 2017).

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