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Ga. lawmakers seek to cut funding to the American Library Association

State Sen. Larry Walker III, a Republican and sponsor of the bill in question, believes the ALA is a “radical, left-leaning organization.”
Ga. lawmakers seek to cut funding to the American Library Association
Posted at 6:21 PM, Mar 04, 2024

Republican state senators passed a bill requiring Georgia libraries to end their affiliation with the American Library Association.

On Thursday, the Georgia State Senate voted 33 to 20 in favor of Senate Bill 390, which aims to prohibit the use of public funds and private donations for the ALA. The bill is now advancing to the House for review.

“The proposed Georgia legislation is based on false narratives that would restrict ALA and its resources for no valid reason. All organizations in any sector — business, legal, health, education, trades — should be concerned about this arbitrary effort to restrict the freedom of trade, freedom of speech, and freedom to associate,” the ALA wrote in a statement last month opposing the bill.

This news comes as many states are trying to ban books from libraries. In the first eight months of 2023, there were nearly 700 attempts to restrict access to almost 2,000 different books and library services across the U.S., according to the ALA. 

SEE MORE: Study shows banning books can boost demand and visibility

The bans target books about LGBTQ+ individuals, people of color, and Black history. They argue that children shouldn't be exposed to certain topics, pushing for more parental control over what kids read.

Sen. Larry Walker III, a Georgia Republican and sponsor of SB390, believes the ALA is a “radical, left-leaning organization,” and this is a way to stop the ALA from being "political indoctrination centers ... promoting aberrant sexual behavior and socialist anti-American rhetoric."

PEN America, a nonprofit advocating for freedom of expression, tracks book challenges and bans in the U.S., and it says that in the 2022–23 school year, it recorded 1,406 book bans in Florida, trailed by 625 bans in Texas, 333 bans in Missouri, 281 bans in Utah, and 186 bans in Pennsylvania.

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