House Bill 314, known throughout the session as “The Library Bill,” was vetoed by Governor Brad Little on Wednesday. Yesterday the House voted to override the veto, but came up one vote short of the needed 2/3 majority necessary for a veto override.
The intent of the legislation is detailed in the sponsors’ statement of purpose:
The Children’s School and Library Protection Act requires public schools and community libraries to take reasonable steps in restricting children’s access to obscene or harmful material. A parent or guardian of a minor child who accesses such material in violation of this policy would be entitled to bring a civil action against the school or library for damages and injunctive relief.Advertisement
The Idaho Dispatch reported on the legislation here: A New “Library Bill” To Be Heard in House State Affairs Tomorrow – Idaho Dispatch and then gave an update later in the session here: “Library Bill” to be Heard Tomorrow Morning in Senate State Affairs Committee – Idaho Dispatch
Boise Mayor Lauren McLean commented on the legislation yesterday saying,
“This bill threatens to destroy public libraries – treasured cornerstones of our communities by allowing anyone, regardless of their intention, to collect thousands in fines if their personal sensibilities are offended, or to at least try. This is creating a bounty system that would be forced onto Boise taxpayers and create the kind of liabilities that would probably prohibit our kids from libraries altogther. And fear. Fear of being charged for taking on the job to serve your community that you are dedicated to take on.”Advertisement
In a statement to House Speaker Mike Moyle, Brad Little explained his veto of the bill,
“My main concern is that the bill’s ambiguity will have unintended consequences for Idaho libraries and their patrons. This legislation makes sweeping, blanket assumptions on materials that could be determined as “harmful to minors” in a local library, and it will force one interpretation of that phrase onto all patrons of the library.”
The House debated the returned bill yesterday. 47 ayes were needed in order to satisfy a 2/3 majority to override a Gubernatorial veto. At first glance, it appears that number was missed by just one vote.Advertisement
Social media posts by Representative Brooke Green (D-District 18) show her explaining that she voted in favor of the override by mistake. She attempted to change her vote, but was not allowed to do so.
In either case, the House fell short of the needed 47 votes to override the Governor’s veto, so the bill will not become Idaho law.
Tags: 2023 Idaho Legislature, 2023 Legislative Session, Boise Mayor Lauren McLean, Children's School and Library Protection Act, Governor Brad Little, House Bill 314, Library Bill, Representative Brooke Green, Veto, Veto Override