Baker filed the Parental Oversight of Public Libraries Act to keep impressionable young people from getting their hands on material that deals with sex or anything else that might be considered inappropriate by parents (or Baker).
HB 2044 makes it simple for a small group of people dedicated with little knowledge of what has literary value to control the books that go on the shelves of the public library.
Under the terms of Baker's legislation, library officials would have to inform the public that a meeting is going to be held to elect members of the committee that will make all such decisions. Only those who attend that meeting would be eligible to vote for committee members.
After that, the bill specifies that all decisions of the committee are final and cannot be overturned by publicly elected library boards or boards that have been appointed by elected public officials.
From the bill:
No public library shall receive any state aid under this section if such library 53 allows minors to access age-inappropriate sexual materials in violation of section 182.821. HB 2044 3 182.821.
1. This section shall be known and may be cited as the "Parental 2 Oversight of Public Libraries Act".
2. As used in this section, the following terms mean:
(1) "Age-inappropriate sexual material", any description or representation, in any form, of nudity, sexuality, sexual conduct, sexual excitement, or sadomasochistic abuse, that:
(a) Taken as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest of minors;
(b) Is patently offensive to prevailing standards in the adult community with respect to what is appropriate material for minors; and
(c) Taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value for minors;
(2) "Geographical area", any village, town, city, county, library district, or other area with established boundaries in which a library is established or for which a library is established to provide library services;
(3) "Public library", any library that receives state aid under section 181.060 and that provides public access to age-inappropriate sexual material.
Each public library shall establish a parental library review board as provided in this subsection.
(1) At least thirty calendar days before the election of a board under this subsection, the governing body of the public library shall notify all qualified voters residing within the library's geographical area that an election for members of the library's parental library review board will be held at a regularly convened hearing of the village, town, city, or county in which the majority of the library's geographical area lies. At such hearing, the qualified voters present shall elect the members of the board by a majority vote. The five individuals receiving the highest number of votes cast by the qualified voters present shall be members of the board.
(2) The board shall be composed of five adult residents of the public library's geographical area. Each board member shall serve a term of two years. Any vacancy shall be filled in the same manner in which the member was initially elected, except that if a member vacates the office before the end of the member's term, the vacancy shall be filled for the remainder of the unexpired term only. No member of the board shall receive any compensation for any actions related to fulfilling board duties. No member of the board shall be an employee of the library, the state, or any political subdivision thereof.
(3) (a) The board shall determine whether any sexual material provided to the public by the public library is age-inappropriate sexual material. To make such determinations, the board shall convene public hearings at which members of the community may present concerns to the board. After receiving comments from the public, the board shall examine individual instances of the questioned sexual material to determine whether it is age-inappropriate sexual material under this section.
(b) The board may order any material deemed to be age-inappropriate sexual material to be removed from public access by minors at the public library.
(c) Any such determination or order made by the board shall be the final determination or order on such materials, and shall not be subject to any review by the governing body of the public library, the state, or any political subdivision thereof. This subdivision shall not be construed to prohibit judicial review of any determination or order made by the board under this section.
4. Each public library shall, on or before June thirtieth of each year, verify compliance with this section on any form created by the board. After such compliance is verified, the library shall post the verification in a conspicuous place for public viewing at the library.
5. Any public library personnel who willfully neglects or refuses to perform any duty imposed on a public library under this section, or who willfully violates any provision of this section, is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction shall be punished by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars or by imprisonment in the county jail not to exceed one year.
Baker has already filed a bill for this term would allow the Bible to be taught as an elective social studies class in public high schools and legislation that would require all schools to place the motto "In God We Trust" in a prominent location.