UNITED STATES NEWS

Illinois lawmakers push back on library book bans

May 3, 2023, 3:46 PM

CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois lawmakers greenlighted a bill that says libraries in the state must adopt an anti-book banning policy to receive state funding on Wednesday, in a vote that fissured along party lines.

The measure, spearheaded by restrict books on topics such as race, gender and sexuality in schools and libraries across the United States.

The legislation has passed both chambers and now heads to the desk of Gov. J.B. Pritzker, who said he looks forward to signing it.

“This landmark legislation is a triumph for our democracy, a win for First Amendment rights, and most importantly, a great victory for future generations to come,” said Giannoulias in a news conference Wednesday after HB 2789 cleared the Senate in a party-line vote.

In order to be eligible for state funding, the bill requires libraries to adopt the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights, which holds that “materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation,” and “should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.”

Libraries may also develop an alternative policy prohibiting the practice of banning to receive the funds.

Chicago-area Sen. Laura Murphy, a Democrat and one of the bill’s sponsors, celebrated its passage.

“Our nation’s libraries have been under attack for too long — they are bastions of knowledge and proliferate the spread of ideas,” said Murphy in a news release. “Librarians are trained professionals, and we need to trust that they will stock our libraries with appropriate materials — they were hired for their expertise, and they deserve our respect.”

All 19 Republicans in the Illinois Senate voted against the measure, including Republican Sen. Jason Plummer, who represents Edwardsville, a city northeast of St. Louis.

Plummer said the bill is an effort by Illinois Democrats “to force their extreme ideology on communities across this state” and would wrest control from local libraries.

“The members of locally elected library boards, who work to increase literacy in their communities, don’t need a book-ban agenda foisted on them by Chicago politicians who are just trying to get cheap publicity,” Plummer said in a news release.

“It’s offensive to the ideals of good government to threaten to take public funding away from the very communities that generated that funding through their taxes,” he said.

Giannoulias, a Democrat, said he is “blown away that this has become a partisan issue.”

Attempted book bans and restrictions at school and public libraries hit a record-high in 2022, according to a March report from the American Library Association.

Giannoulias, who in January was sworn in as the first new secretary of state in a quarter-century, teamed up with Naperville Democratic Rep. Anne Stava-Murray after parents in the Chicago suburb of Downers Grove complained to the high school board about “Gender Queer: A Memoir” by Maia Kobabe last summer.

___

Savage is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.

United States News

Associated Press

Over $450K recovered for workers of California mushroom farms that were sites of fatal shootings

HALF MOON BAY, Calif. (AP) — The owners of two Northern California mushroom farms where a farmworker killed seven people in back-to-back shootings last year will pay more than $450,000 in back wages and damages to 62 workers, the Labor Department announced Monday. The owners of California Terra Gardens and Concord Farms in Half Moon […]

13 minutes ago

Associated Press

Juneteenth proclaimed state holiday again in Alabama, after bill to make it permanent falters

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey has again authorized Juneteenth— the day commemorating the end of slavery in the United States — as a state holiday, while legislative efforts to make it a permanent holiday in the state have so far faltered. Ivey’s office said Monday that June 19 will be a holiday […]

1 hour ago

Associated Press

Moose kills Alaska man attempting to take photos of her newborn calves

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A 70-year-old Alaska man who was attempting to take photos of two newborn moose calves was attacked and killed by their mother, authorities said Monday. The man killed Sunday was identified as Dale Chorman of Homer, said Austin McDaniel, a spokesperson for the Alaska Department of Public Safety. The female moose […]

3 hours ago

Associated Press

There was a fatal shooting at this year’s ‘Jeep Week’ event on Texas Gulf Coast. Here’s what to know

CRYSTAL BEACH, Texas (AP) — A popular event drew tens of thousands of visitors over the weekend to Texas Gulf Coast beaches, where a fatal shooting erupted and nearly 300 people were arrested, authorities said Monday. Three separate shootings were reported Saturday on the Bolivar Peninsula during the annual “Jeep Week” event, including one that […]

4 hours ago

Associated Press

Bankruptcy judge approves Genesis Global plan to refund $3 billion to creditors, crypto customers

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — A bankruptcy court judge has approved a plan by the cryptocurrency lender Genesis Global to return about $3 billion to its creditors and investors, including thousands of people who New York regulators say were defrauded by the company. The plan and settlement approved Friday by Judge Sean H. Lane includes up […]

5 hours ago

Associated Press

Billionaire rains cash on UMass graduates to tune of $1,000 each, but says they must give half away

MEREDITH, N.H. (AP) — The clouds weren’t alone in making it rain on the commencement ceremony at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth last week. On stage, billionaire philanthropist Rob Hale surprised the graduating class of more than 1,000 by pointing to a nearby truck holding envelopes stuffed with cash. Huddling under ponchos and umbrellas at […]

5 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

Desert Institute for Spine Care is the place for weekend warriors to fix their back pain

Spring has sprung and nothing is better than March in Arizona. The temperatures are perfect and with the beautiful weather, Arizona has become a hotbed for hikers, runners, golfers, pickleball players and all types of weekend warriors.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.

...

Fiesta Bowl Foundation

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade is excitingly upon us

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Lerner & Rowe is upon us! The attraction honors Arizona and the history of the game.

Illinois lawmakers push back on library book bans