By Illinois Review
On Monday, Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker signed a bill into law that discourages schools and public libraries from banning books, in the wake of a nationwide effort to ban inappropriate and sexually-explicit books in the classroom – making Pritzker the first governor in the nation to sign such a law that penalizes schools and libraries that endorse book bans by denying them state-funded grants.
School board races this past April generated widespread attention throughout the country as liberal districts promoted a sexual education curriculum that teaches young children about gender identity and hormone blockers – subjects completely inappropriate for children.
These same school districts are also teaching about critical race theory – a divisive concept that teaches about race superiority and that the United States is fundamentally a racist country.
During a signing ceremony at Chicago’s Harold Washington Library, Pritzker said, “Book bans are about censorship, marginalizing people and marginalizing ideas.”
“Today, Illinois makes history as the first state in our nation to officially end book bans once and for all. We’re showing everyone what it looks like to stand up for liberty. As simple as that.”
Lt. Governor. Juliana Stratton, who joined Pritzker at the signing ceremony also weighed in, saying,
“I’m proud that our administration is standing in the gap for literary justice and equity by becoming the first state in the nation to prevent book banning, so that our children and communities can be represented, and have access to reading material that celebrates our diversity and uniqueness…”
The new law charges the Illinois State Librarian and the Illinois State Library with adopting the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights statewide, which restricts the removal of reading materials for “partisan or personal disapproval.”
And Illinois libraries would only be eligible for state-funded grants if they adopt the nationwide Library Bill of Rights – forcing schools and libraries to adhere to the new law.
The new law goes into effect in 2024.