Antiscience bills progress further in Florida

04.21.2017

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. Both bills would empower taxpayers to object to the use of instructional materials in the public schools — and as NCSE previously reported, climate change and evolution are clearly among the intended targets.

Before the vote, Brandon Haught of Florida Citizens for Science was quoted in the Orlando Sentinel (April 18, 2017) as predicting that if the bills are passed, it would be a "disaster," explaining, "school boards will become inundated with demands that certain books be outright banned and that schools must discontinue using textbooks that don't mesh with a vocal minority's ideological views."

Senate Bill 1210 is apparently not yet scheduled for a hearing on the floor of the Senate. If it passes the Senate, it will still be necessary for the legislature to reconcile the House and the Senate versions of the bill, which were originally identical but were subsequently modified in different ways by their respective committees. The last day of the legislative session is May 5, 2017.