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Binghamton University Libraries / YouTube

Short diary, but just wanted to get this out there. This past week was the Iowa legislature’s second “funnel” week — a bottleneck in the travels of a bill where many bills don’t make it through to the next step. It’s a weeding process to keep the process manageable and, hopefully, get rid of the bills that are badly written, or blatantly pandering BS. Thankfully, some real stinkers didn’t make it through this time.

One bill of particular concern to me because of my profession was what might be called the “Guess what Senator Jake Chapman thinks is obscene, and if you guess wrong you get charged with a crime” bill. Senator Chapman is the leader of the Iowa Senate, and has said, among other things, that providing books that he doesn’t approve of to students should be a felony. He’s also accused teachers of having a “sinister agenda.” So…that tells you where his head is. Well, fortunately, his little bill has failed to make it through the funnel, so I guess I and my fellow librarians don’t need to turn ourselves in to the authorities, at least until he take another run at it next year.

So there is at least that modicum of sanity in our legislature.

As long as I’m on the topic, another bill that failed to make it through this second funnel week was a bill that would have made banned employer vaccination mandates. Because Freedumbs means the ability to infect your coworkers and customers with deadly diseases, or something. It sounds like they may make another try at this one in the future, but time will tell. If we can finally get the pandemic in the rear view mirror by next session, they may see it as a moot political nonstarter not worth the effort. If we’re lucky.

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