Thursday, April 24, 2008


You Gets What You Pay For

The maneuvering continues in Florida:

A proposed law allowing teachers and students to question the scientific theory of evolution is in jeopardy.

The Senate narrowly passed its version Wednesday, but rejected an amendment that would have brought it in line with the House version -- and compromise may not be possible before the annual lawmaking session ends next week. ...

The House version requires teachers to make "a thorough presentation and critical analysis of the scientific theory of evolution."

The Senate bill places no requirements on teachers. Instead, it protects teachers and students who question evolution from being disciplined. ...

[House sponsor Rep. Alan] Hays said he planned to ask his colleagues in the House to vote on his version early next week, leaving just a few days after that to forge a compromise that could be approved by both chambers.

"We're not going to just get something in," Hays said. "We want to get something right."

Sen. Ronda Storms, R-Valrico, said she has not given up on passing some version of the evolution bill, but that she had hoped to avoid the last-minute bouncing between the chambers.

"Certainly we're running out of time," Storms said.

Sen. Stephen Wise, R-Jacksonville, who voted for the evolution bill and spoke in favor of it, was more blunt about the shrinking time frame. He said Hays "must be hitting the sauce if he thinks he's going to send the bill back here."

Hays and Storms brought identical evolution bills forward after the state Board of Education decided that Florida students should learn Darwin's theory of evolution.

Hays then modified his version.

So, the two lawmakers introduce identical bills. Then one changes his version to a one-sentence requirement of "a thorough presentation and critical analysis of the scientific theory of evolution." No explanation, except vague statements that the change "more strongly protects from lawsuits teachers who question evolution," is given for the amendment. The other bill is passed but, despite its sponsor wanting "some version" enacted, an amendment to change that bill to match the other bill is defeated. The amended bill will be voted on, but not in time to forge a compromise bill and have it voted on in both houses before the session ends and the whole thing dies. The result: lawmakers get to record votes on the issue but no law is passed this session and the issue gets a chance to cool down.

Or am I just too much of a cynic?

No, my dear, simply a realist.

Ah, pollyticks!
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