(KXNET) — After a few changes by lawmakers, a contentious bill talking about inappropriate books in libraries passed through the senate on Wednesday, by a veto-proof majority.
House Bill 1205 bans public libraries from providing explicit sexual material. The amended bill says libraries cannot keep offensive books in their children’s section. And by January 1, 2024, every public library must have a policy for how it reviews its collection to check for inappropriate content.
Lawmakers say the books and material must pass the so-called ‘miller test’, which is a three-prong test to measure for obscenity.
“We have found open pornography, obscenity in no less than 11 North Dakota libraries,” said Senator Keith Boehm, “and they are not all large libraries. I have said this before — pornography is not free speech in our minor-accessible institutions.”
“I do believe this bill is a lot better than it was,” said Senator Ryan Braunberger, “and it does follow the Miller test — but again, I want to cautious this body on where we move next.”
Senators passed the bill by a 39-7 margin. The bill now heads back to the House to consider the amendments.