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Idaho Senate Rejects Compromise Library Bill; Opens Door to Extremists

February 23, 2024

The Idaho Senate narrowly rejected library content policing compromise legislation on Thursday, opening the door for more extreme legislation to be introduced this year.

Senate Bill 1289 would have required school and public libraries to establish a three-person committee made up of residents from its service area or school district to review complaints about materials. The legislation also called for library governing boards to adopt “written policies and procedures” for handling complaints about harmful materials by Jan. 1.

Thursday’s 17-18 vote on the Senate floor saw some Democrats team up with far-right lawmakers to kill the legislation.


Sponsored by Sen. Geoff Schroeder (R-Mountain Home) and Rep. Jaron Crane (R-Nampa), the bill materialized after outcry over a previous bill sponsored by Crane, which was widely criticized for its overzealous attempt to allow patrons to sue libraries over materials they find objectionable.

“The rejection of this compromise means extremist lawmakers will likely return to their efforts to criminalize libraries and librarians,” said Matt Compton, IEA’s associate executive director.

Idaho Education Association members played a key role in Crane’s withdrawal of House Bill 384. IEA members in Boise for IEA’s 2024 Lobby Day and other opponents of the controversial bill filled two overflow rooms to deliver and listen to testimony.

The Idaho Library Association, which worked with IEA in opposing HB 384, played a role in drafting the new legislation and was neutral on Senate Bill 1289.

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