State Actions

Silencing Science Tracker

State Actions

This page lists state and local government actions targeting climate and other (non-climate) environmental science fields. The listed actions are also included in the table on the SST home page, along with actions taken by the federal government.

2018-09-04 Climate Science Misrepresented by Oregon State Senator OR, State Bias and Misrepresentation Climate

In an email newsletter sent by the Oregon legislature, State Senator Alan Olsen erroneously claimed that climate change is caused solely by natural forces, and not by human activities. Senator Olsen also erroneously asserted that temperatures have not increased in recent years and falsely accused scientists of overstating the risks of climate change.

2018-09 References to “Climate Change” Removed from Report of Vermont Natural Resources Board State, VT Government Censorship Climate

The Vermont Governor’s office removed several references to “climate change” from a report, prepared by the state Natural Resources Board, exploring changes to the state’s land use permitting process.

2018-08-07 Climate Change Described as “Hoax” by Louisiana Attorney-General LA, State Bias and Misrepresentation Climate

During a speech at the Heartland Institute’s America First Energy Conference, Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry referenced the “climate change hoax,” and expressed concern that people believe it.

2018-07-06 Climate Science Misrepresented by Texas State Senator State, TX Bias and Misrepresentation, Interference with Education Climate

Texas State Senator Jason Isaac asserted, contrary to decades of scientific research, that the burning of fossil fuels does not contribute to climate change. He worked with the Texas Natural Gas Foundation to develop new science education guidelines to “get the bias” against fossil fuels out of schools.

2018-07 Scientific Consensus on Climate Change Questioned by Wyoming State Representative State, WY Bias and Misrepresentation Climate

Wyoming State Representative Scott Clem asserted, on his website, that “man-made climate change is not settled science” and continues to be “hotly disputed.”

2018-06-22 North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality’s Budget Cut NC, State Budget Cuts, Personnel Changes Other

The North Carolina legislature rejected a proposal from Governor Roy Cooper to increase funding for the state Department of Environmental Quality to enable it to hire scientists to work on water pollution issues. Instead, the legislature voted to cut the Department’s funding by $1.8 million, which critics say will lead to job losses.

2018-06-20 Florida Citrus Department Budget Cuts Proposed for 2018-19 FL, State Budget Cuts Other

The Florida Department of Citrus’ 2018-19 budget proposed to reduce funding for scientific research by $48,700. The reductions are reportedly necessary due to lower than expected revenues.

2018-05-11 Scientific Findings of Environment Agency Questioned by Ohio Governor OH, State Bias and Misrepresentation Other

Ohio Governor John Kasich questioned scientific data showing poor water quality in Lake Erie. Based on the data, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency concluded that the lake’s waters are impaired, but the Governor disputed that finding.

2018-05 Science of Evolution Questioned by Arizona State Official AZ, State Bias and Misrepresentation Other

In a television interview, Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas suggested that science only “back[s] up part of” the theory of evolution, and “not all of it.” Superintendent Douglas has previously advocated for Florida schools to teach the unproven theory of “intelligent design” as an alternative to evolution.

2018-05 Discussion of Climate Change Omitted from Florida Governor’s Hurricane Conference FL, State Government Censorship Climate

Florida Governor Rick Scott hosted the Governor’s Hurricane Conference, which is intended to provide information on how to prepare for and recover from hurricanes. None of the conference sessions discussed on climate change or sea level rise, despite significant scientific evidence that those phenomena will increase hurricane severity.

2018-05 Engineering Positions in Virginia Beach’s Stormwater Division Eliminated Local Govt., State, VA Budget Cuts, Personnel Changes Climate

The Virginia Beach city council announced that it would suspend a storm water fee increase, which was intended to pay for additional staff to work on issues relating to sea level rise. As a result of the suspension, nine staff positions will be left unfilled.

2018-04-24 Climate Science Misrepresented by Texas Railroad Commissioner State, TX Bias and Misrepresentation Climate

Texas Railroad Commissioner Wayne Christian published an op-ed arguing that “the science of climate change is far from settled” and that “we don’t know whether man-made greenhouse gases are impacting our climate in a harmful way.”

2018-04-18 Climate Science Misrepresented by Colorado State Senator CO, State Bias and Misrepresentation Climate

Colorado State Senator Vicki Marble questioned scientific research indicating that greenhouse gas emissions cause climate change. Senator Marble argued that climate change is more likely caused by solar flares. She also suggested that cats cause more health problems than greenhouse gas emissions.

2018-04-06 Research Findings Questioned by New Hampshire Cities Local Govt., NH, State Bias and Misrepresentation Other

The cities of Dover, Portsmouth, and Rochester in New Hampshire questioned the accuracy of scientific research finding that municipal wastewater is contributing to high nitrogen levels in the Great Bay estuary.

2018-03-28 Scientific Research on Cancer Risk Misrepresented CA, State Bias and Misrepresentation Other

Retailers in California were required to include a cancer warning on coffee, despite scientific evidence showing that it does not pose a cancer risk.

2018-03 References to “Evolution” Removed from Arizona Education Standards AZ, State Interference with Education Other

The Arizona Department of Education revised draft science education standards to limit the teaching of evolution and give teachers greater flexibility to present it as a controversial topic about which scientists disagree.

2018-03 Faulty Science Used to Justify Mississippi Abortion Bill MS, State Bias and Misrepresentation Other

Mississippi State Senator Joey Filingane argued that technological advances justify the adoption of stricter limits on abortion. In support this argument, the Senator referenced technology that he admitted does not yet exist, but argued that it may be developed in the next two to three years, before any litigation concerning the new abortion limits concludes.

2018-02-27 NOAA Scientists Attacked By Louisiana Attorney General LA, State Bias and Misrepresentation Climate

Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry tweeted a link to a Breitbart article accusing NOAA scientists of lying about the extent of declines in Arctic sea ice cover. The article erroneously claims that Arctic sea ice cover is increasing and that temperatures in the region are no higher than previous levels.

2018-02-12 Bill Opposing the Next Generation Science Standards Introduced in Iowa IA, State Interference with Education Climate, Other

A bill was introduced in the Iowa legislature that would, if enacted, prevent implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). The bill was reportedly prompted by a concern that the NGSS discuss “controversial topics,” such as climate change and evolution.

2018-02-09 Scientific Consensus on Climate Change Rejected by Louisiana Attorney General LA, State Bias and Misrepresentation Climate

During a press conference, Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry described climate change as a “hoax,” and denied that it is causing sea level rise. Later on the same day, the Attorney General published a pair of tweets, asserting that human activities do not cause climate change and that sea levels are not rising.

2018-02-07 Science on Vaccine Safety Misrepresented by Milwaukee Health Department Official Local Govt., State, WI Bias and Misrepresentation Other

During a radio interview, the newly appointed head of Milwaukee’s Health Department, Patricia McManus, stated that “the science is still out” on whether vaccines cause autism. Any link between vaccines and autism has, however, been disproved in numerous scientific studies.

2018-02 Discussion of Fossil Fuel Impacts Removed from Draft Idaho Education Standards ID, State Interference with Education Climate

The Idaho House of Representatives Education Committee voted to remove references to the climate impacts of fossil fuel use from proposed science education standards.

2018-02 Proposal to Defund Wyoming Environmental Quality Council Approved by State House of Representatives State, WY Budget Cuts Other

The Wyoming House of Representatives voted to withhold funding from the state’s Environmental Quality Council. The vote was reportedly prompted by a concern that the Council, which reviews matters relating to environmental pollution, is too “anti-business.”

2018-02 Change to Science Education Standards Proposed in Ohio OH, State Interference with Education Other

A member of the Ohio Board of Education, Sarah Fowler, proposed adding an “overarching content statement” to the state’s new science education standards. The statement emphasizes that “scientific conclusions are necessarily based upon philosophical assumptions,” which is an argument often used to challenge the teaching of evolution. Critics assert that, if the statement is added to the standards, it may encourage teachers to present the unproven theory of “intelligent design” as an alternative to evolution.

2018-01-31 Bill Prohibiting Adoption of the Next Generation Science Standards Introduced in Iowa IA, State Interference with Education Climate, Other

A bill was introduced in the Iowa House of Representatives that would, if enacted, prevent implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). The bill was reportedly prompted by a concern that the NGSS discuss “controversial topics,” such as climate change and evolution.

2018-01-31 Milwaukee Health Department Employees Prevented from Discussing Lead Contamination Local Govt., State, WI Government Censorship Other

Former Milwaukee Health Commissioner Bevan Baker ordered Health Department employees not to discuss concerns about lead contamination with members of the city council.

2018-01-18 Bill Undermining Teaching of Evolution Introduced in Alabama AL, State Interference with Education Other

A bill was introduced in the Alabama legislature that would, if enacted, allow teachers to present the theory of creation as an alternative to evolution.

2018-01-16 Cuts to Funding for Scientific Research Proposed in Kentucky KY, State Budget Cuts Climate

Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin proposed a two-year budget that would cut state spending by 6.25%. The cuts would affect numerous scientific research program, including the Kentucky Mesonet, which would have its funding eliminated.

2018-01-09 Scientific Consensus on Climate Change Rejected by Kentucky Governor KY, State Bias and Misrepresentation Climate

During an interview on Cincinnati radio, Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin accepted that the climate “has been changing,” but suggested this is a natural phenomenon. Governor Bevin described scientific research showing that human activities contribute to climate change as “ludicrous” and “absolutely preposterous.”

2018-01-05 Climate Science Misrepresented by Kentucky Governor KY, State Bias and Misrepresentation Climate

Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin posted a tweet suggesting that the cold weather experienced in the U.S. in winter 2017/18 disproves the existence of climate change. The tweet included a weather map showing frigid temperatures in the U.S. and said: “Trump has been in office 1 year and has already fixed global warming.”

2018-01 Unqualified Individuals Appointed to Florida Wildlife Commission FL, State Personnel Changes Other

Florida Governor Rick Scott appointed three individuals with little or no experience in wildlife management to the state’s Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

2018-01 Research Funding Cut by Florida Citrus Department FL, State Budget Cuts Other

The Florida Department of Citrus cut $70,000 from its scientific research, marketing, and administration budgets. The cuts were reportedly necessary due to lower than expected revenues.

2018-01 Water Testing Blocked by South Carolina Mayor Local Govt., SC, State Research Hindrance Other

The mayor of Denmark in South Carolina, Gerald Wright, refused to allow a Virginia Tech professor, Marc Edwards, to test the city’s drinking water supplies for possible contamination. Mayor Wright asserted that the testing was unnecessary because the city’s water had already been assessed by the state Department of Health and Environmental Control and found to be safe.

2017-12-08 Oklahoma Health Department Staff Laid Off OK, State Personnel Changes Other

Following discovery of a $30 billion budget gap, the Oklahoma Department of Health announced that it would lay off 198 staff, and would be unable to fill existing open positions, including several in the epidemiology department.

2017-12-07 Climate Science Misrepresented by Vermont Governor State, VT Bias and Misrepresentation Climate

Vermont Governor Phil Scott misrepresented research indicating that climate change will have widespread negative impacts and suggested it could actually be “beneficial to Vermont.”

2017-12-06 Unqualified Individuals Appointed to Missouri Clean Water Commission MO, State Personnel Changes Other

Missouri Governor Eric Greitens appointed three new members to the state’s Clean Water Commission. All three appointees have close ties to industry and appear to lack appropriate qualifications for serving on the Commission.

2017-12 Florida Officials Barred from Referencing “Climate Change” FL, State Government Censorship Climate

Florida Governor Rick Scott banned state employees from using the terms “climate change” and “global warming” in official correspondence.

2017-11-17 Bill Requiring Balanced Teaching of Scientific Theories Introduced in Florida FL, State Interference with Education Climate, Other

A bill was introduced in the Florida legislature that would, if enacted, require “controversial” scientific theories to be taught in a “balanced” way. While the bill does not identify any specific “controversial” theories, it is thought to be targeting the teaching of climate change and evolution.

2017-11-09 Bill Appointing Industry Representatives to Oversee Environmental Decisions Introduced in Michigan MI, State Personnel Changes Climate, Other

A package bills was introduced in the Michigan senate that would, if enacted, establish a new Environmental Rules Review Committee to oversee the state Department of Environmental Quality. The Committee would consist of over half industry representatives and have broad authority to veto rules proposed by the Department.

2017-11-01 Bill Obstructing Medical Research Introduced in Iowa IA, State Research Hindrance Other

A bill was introduced in the Iowa legislature that would, if enacted, prohibit the transfer or use of fetal body parts. Opponents of the bill say it will prevent vital medical research using fetal tissue.

2017-11 Teaching of Unproven Scientific Concept Supported by Arizona State Official AZ, State Interference with Education Other

At a Republican candidate event, Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas argued that school children should be taught alternatives to the theory of evolution, including the unproven theory of “intelligent design.”

2017-11 Science of Evolution Questioned by Utah Education Board Member State, UT Interference with Education Other

During a hearing of the Utah State Board of Education, vice-chairwoman Alisa Ellis argued that teachers should present evolution as a theory and not a fact. She also urged teachers to discuss alternative explanations for the origins of life, including the unproven theory of “intelligent design.”

2017-10-31 Missouri Life Sciences Research Board to be Eliminated MO, State Personnel Changes Other

Missouri Governor Eric Greitens convened a task force to explore ways to shrink the size and scope of the state government. The task force recommended, among other things, eliminating the state Life Sciences Research Board.

2017-10-25 Humans’ Role in Climate Change Questioned by Virginia Mayor Local Govt., State, VA Bias and Misrepresentation Climate

The Mayor of Tangier Island in Virginia, James Eskridge, told reporters that he does not believe human activities are the main cause of climate change.

2017-10 Unqualified Individual Appointed to North Carolina Oil and Gas Commission NC, State Personnel Changes Climate, Other

The North Carolina legislature appointed Jim Womak to the state’s Oil and Gas Commission. Mr. Womak was appointed to a seat reserved for a “representative of a nongovernmental conservation interest” but has no experience in conservation.

2017-09 Climate Science Misrepresented by Florida Governor FL, State Bias and Misrepresentation Climate

During a press conference following Hurricane Irma, Florida Governor Rick Scott suggested that climate change may be caused by natural cycles, and not anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions.

2017-09 Humans’ Role in Climate Change Questioned by Kentucky Governor KY, State Bias and Misrepresentation Climate

In a speech at the annual meeting of the Southern States Energy Board, Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin suggested that climate change is not caused by human activities. The Governor described studies linking human activities to climate change as “nonsense.”

2017-09 Standards Undermining Science Education Proposed by New Mexico Education Department NM, State Interference with Education Climate, Other

The New Mexico Public Education Department proposed to adopt the Next Generation Science Standards, with various amendments, which critics say will limit discussion of climate change and evolution in schools.

2017-08-14 Climate Science Misrepresented by Maine Governor ME, State Bias and Misrepresentation Climate

During a speech to the Waterville Rotary Club, Maine Governor Paul LePage erroneously stated that the Earth is cooling. He also claimed that, while the Earth may have experienced warming in the past, it was not due to human activities.

2017-08-01 Climate Science Misrepresented by Virginia Mayor Local Govt., State, VA Bias and Misrepresentation Climate

In a televised Town Hall, the Mayor of Tangier Island in Virginia questioned whether sea level rise is actually occurring, stating: “I’m a keen observer . . . why am I not seeing sings of it?”

2017-07-21 Florida Citrus Department Budget Cuts Proposed for 2017-18 FL, State Budget Cuts Other

The Florida Department of Citrus’ 2017-18 budget proposed to reduce funding for scientific research. The reductions are reportedly necessary due to lower than expected revenues.

2017-07-07 Climate Science Misrepresented by New Hampshire Governor NH, State Bias and Misrepresentation Climate

During an interview on public radio, New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu questioned the scientific consensus on climate change, suggesting that scientists disagree on its causes, and that further research is needed to determine the role played by greenhouse gas emissions.

2017-06 Climate Science Misrepresented by North Dakota Mayor Local Govt., ND, State Bias and Misrepresentation Climate

During a radio interview, Howard Klug, the Mayor of Williston, North Dakota, questioned whether climate change is real. Mayor Klug then asserted that human activities, including the development and use of fossil fuels, have little impact on the climate. He argued that there is no need to restrict fossil fuel development as the “world . . . can heal itself.”

2017-06 Discredited Scientific Study Cited by Tennessee State Representative State, TN Bias and Misrepresentation Climate, Other

Tennessee State Representative Diane Black relied on a discredited scientific study, which was funded by industry and did not comply with established research protocols, to push for the weakening of regulations controlling emissions from glider trucks.

2017-05-11 Age of Earth Misrepresented by Wisconsin State Representative State, WI Bias and Misrepresentation Other

During a hearing of the Wisconsin legislature, state Representative Jesse Kremer stated that it is “fact” that the earth is only 6,000 years old, contradicting decades of scientific research showing that the earth is 4.5 billion years old.

2017-05-03 Missouri Stream Gauges To Be Deactivated MO, State Budget Cuts, Research Hindrance Other

Due to state budget cuts, the Missouri Water Science Center will be forced to deactivate 20% of the state’s river and stream gauges, beginning in July 2017.

2017-05-02 Proven Scientific Theories Questioned by Alabama Legislature AL, State Interference with Education Climate, Other

The Alabama legislature passed a resolution labeling climate change, evolution, and human cloning as “controversial” theories and encouraging teachers to question their accuracy.

2017-04-27 Climate Science Questioned by West Virginia Official State, WV Bias and Misrepresentation Climate

At a public meeting, the Secretary of West Virginia’s Department of Environmental Protection, Austin Caperton, said he “doesn’t trust” the science establishing that human activities are the primary cause of climate change.

2017-04-19 Climate Science Misrepresented by Alabama Attorney General AL, State Bias and Misrepresentation Climate

Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall filed an amicus brief in Exxon Mobil v. Schneiderman. The brief questions the scientific consensus on climate change and the conclusion that it will be “sufficiently dangerous to require urgent policy responses.”

2017-04-19 Climate Science Misrepresented by Arkansas Attorney General AK, State Bias and Misrepresentation Climate

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge filed an amicus brief in Exxon Mobil v. Schneiderman. The brief questions the scientific consensus on climate change and the conclusion that it will be “sufficiently dangerous to require urgent policy responses.”

2017-04-19 Climate Science Misrepresented by Arizona Attorney General AZ, State Bias and Misrepresentation Climate

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich filed an amicus brief in Exxon Mobil v. Schneiderman. The brief questions the scientific consensus on climate change and the conclusion that it will be “sufficiently dangerous to require urgent policy responses.”

2017-04-19 Climate Science Misrepresented by Louisiana Attorney General LA, State Bias and Misrepresentation Climate

Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry filed an amicus brief in Exxon Mobil v. Schneiderman. The brief questions the scientific consensus on climate change and the conclusion that it will be “sufficiently dangerous to require urgent policy responses.”

2017-04-19 Climate Science Misrepresented by Michigan Attorney General MI, State Bias and Misrepresentation Climate

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette filed an amicus brief in Exxon Mobil v. Schneiderman. The brief questions the scientific consensus on climate change and the conclusion that it will be “sufficiently dangerous to require urgent policy responses.”

2017-04-19 Climate Science Misrepresented by Nebraska Attorney General NE, State Bias and Misrepresentation Climate

Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson filed an amicus brief in Exxon Mobil v. Schneiderman. The brief questions the scientific consensus on climate change and the assumption that it will be “sufficiently dangerous to require urgent policy responses.”

2017-04-19 Climate Science Misrepresented by Oklahoma Attorney General OK, State Bias and Misrepresentation Climate

Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter filed an amicus brief in Exxon Mobil v. Schneiderman. The brief questions the scientific consensus on climate change and the conclusion that it will be “sufficiently dangerous to require urgent policy responses.”

2017-04-19 Climate Science Misrepresented by South Carolina Attorney General SC, State Bias and Misrepresentation Climate

South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson filed an amicus brief in Exxon Mobil v. Schneiderman. The brief questions the scientific consensus on climate change and the conclusion that it will be “sufficiently dangerous to require urgent policy responses.”

2017-04-19 Climate Science Misrepresented by Texas Attorney General State, TX Bias and Misrepresentation Climate

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed an amicus brief in Exxon Mobil v. Schneiderman. The brief questions the scientific consensus on climate change and the conclusion that it will be “sufficiently dangerous to require urgent policy responses.”

2017-04-19 Climate Science Misrepresented by Utah Attorney General State, UT Bias and Misrepresentation Climate

Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes filed an amicus brief in Exxon Mobil v. Schneiderman. The brief questions the scientific consensus on climate change and the conclusion that it will be “sufficiently dangerous to require urgent policy responses.”

2017-04-19 Climate Science Misrepresented by Wisconsin Attorney General State, WI Bias and Misrepresentation Climate

Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel filed an amicus brief in Exxon Mobil v. Schneiderman. The brief questions the scientific consensus on climate change and the conclusion that it will be “sufficiently dangerous to require urgent policy responses.”

2017-04-11 Proposal to Defund State Research Centers Advanced by Iowa Legislature IA, State Budget Cuts Other

The Iowa legislature published its proposed state education budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2017. Under the proposal, state funding for education would be cut by $20 million, compared to the 2016 fiscal year. The cuts would be achieved, in part, by eliminating funding for two research centers at Iowa State University.

2017-04-11 Funding for Oklahoma Science Fair Eliminated OK, State Budget Cuts, Interference with Education Other

The Oklahoma Science and Engineering Fair, and several regional science fairs, are to be cancelled in 2018 due to a lack of funding from the state government.

2017-03-28 Climate Science Misrepresented by Pennsylvania State Senator PA, State Bias and Misrepresentation Climate

During a speech at a natural gas conference, Pennsylvania State Senator Scott Wagner erroneously asserted that climate change is not caused by greenhouse gas emissions, but rather the earth moving closer to the sun, or perhaps the “heat coming off” human bodies.

2017-03-08 Climate Science Misrepresented by New Mexico Energy Secretary NM, State Bias and Misrepresentation Climate

During his confirmation hearing, the Secretary of the New Mexico Energy, Minerals, and Natural Resources Department suggested that climate change is a natural phenomenon, which “has been with us since the beginning of time.” The Secretary downplayed humans’ role in climate change and suggested, contrary to numerous scientific studies, that natural gas extraction has not contributed to a “methane hotspot” over New Mexico.

2017-03-08 Research into Industrial Hemp Prevented by Nevada Governor NV, State Research Hindrance Other

Nevada Governor Susana Martinez vetoed a bill authorizing the New Mexico Department of Agriculture to adopt rules for research into industrial hemp. As a result of the veto, research into industrial hemp remains prohibited in Nevada.

2017-03-07 Teaching of Evolution Undermined in Louisiana LA, State Interference with Education Other

The Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education voted to amend a guidance document on the state’s science education standards. The amendment referenced the Louisiana Science Education Act, which encourages the teaching of alternatives to evolution.

2017-03-06 Bill Undermining Teaching of Evolution Introduced in Arkansas AK, State Interference with Education Other

A bill was introduced in the Arkansas legislature that would, if enacted, allow the unproven theories of intelligent design and creationism to be taught alongside evolution in schools.

2017-03-01 Bill Requiring Teachers to Question Proven Scientific Theories Introduced in Iowa IA, State Interference with Education Climate, Other

A bill was introduced in the legislature that would, if enacted, require teachers to present “opposing points of view or belief” when discussing evolution, the origins of life, and global warming. There is no requirement in the bill that the opposing points of view or beliefs presented be scientifically valid, leading to concerns that teachers will discuss unproven or discredited scientific concepts.

2017-03 WSU Researcher Investigated by Washington Legislators State, WA Government Censorship, Research Hindrance Other

Washington State Representative Joel Kretz and State Senator Mark Schoesler filed a scientific misconduct complaint against a Washington State University (WSU) professor in relation to a 2014 study he had conducted on wolf predation. Representative Kretz had previously sought to discredit the study, including by having the professor fired by WSU.

2017-02-27 Resolution Undermining Science Education Passed by Indiana Senate IN, State Interference with Education Other

The Indiana Senate passed a resolution urging support for the teaching of a diverse curriculum. Critics say this will undermine the integrity of science education, including by encouraging teachers to present a range of views on topics seen as controversial, such as evolution.

2017-02-23 New Teaching Materials Law Proposed in Florida FL, State Interference with Education Climate, Other

A bill was introduced in the Florida legislature that would, if enacted, allow residents to challenge teaching materials discussing evolution, climate change, and other topics they consider inappropriate.

2017-02-16 Bill to Eliminate State Environmental Quality Board Introduced in Minnesota MN, State Personnel Changes Climate, Other

Bills were introduced in the Minnesota House of Representatives and Senate that would, if enacted, eliminate the state Environmental Quality Board which is responsible for coordinating work on environmental issues among state agencies.

2017-02-09 Bill Undermining Science Education Introduced in Texas State, TX Interference with Education Climate, Other

A bill was introduced in the Texas legislature that would, if enacted, allow the State Board of Education to reject any science textbook or other instructional materials that it deems unsuitable. According to critics, this would allow the board to reject materials that discuss controversial scientific theories (e.g., climate change and evolution), even if they are factually correct.

2017-02-08 Wisconsin Natural Resources Magazine Slated for Closure State, WI Budget Cuts, Government Censorship Climate, Other

In his budget proposal for 2017-19, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker recommended that the state Department of Natural Resources cease publishing a bimonthly magazine, providing information on environmental issues. Critics say the move is intended to “create a vacuum and black out information on very important environmental issues” such as climate change.

2017-02-08 Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources’ Science Bureau Slated for Closure State, WI Budget Cuts, Personnel Changes Climate, Other

In his budget proposal for 2017-19, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker recommended eliminating the Department of Natural Resources’ central science services bureau, and reassigning its 15 staff to other positions.

2017-02-06 Bill Undermining Science Education Introduced in Oklahoma OK, State Interference with Education Climate, Other

A bill was introduced in the Oklahoma Senate that would, if enacted, prevent teachers being prohibited from discussing “the strengths and weaknesses” of any scientific theory. Critics say this will undermine science education, giving teachers greater scope to question proven scientific theories, and/or present alternative concepts that have been discredited or are unproven.

2017-02-06 Bill to Close State Environmental Laboratory Introduced in Oklahoma OK, State Personnel Changes Other

A bill was introduced in the Oklahoma Legislature that would, if enacted, require closure of the State Environmental Laboratory. The laboratory is currently responsible for testing the state’s 1,700 public water supply systems.

2017-02-02 Bill Labelling Proven Scientific Theories ‘Controversial’ Introduced in Texas State, TX Interference with Education Climate, Other

A bill was introduced in the Texas legislature that describes “climate change, biological evolution, the chemical origins of life, and human closing” as “controversial” theories. The bill would, if enacted, give teachers greater scope to question these and other proven scientific theories.

2017-02-01 Controversial Evolution Standard Supported by Texas Board of Education State, TX Interference with Education Other

The Texas State Board of Education voted preliminarily to retain language in its science education standards requiring students to consider “all sides” when discussing evolution. Critics say the requirement encourages the teaching of creationism as an alternative to the theory of evolution.

2017-02 References to “Climate Change” Removed from Idaho Science Education Standards ID, State Government Censorship, Interference with Education Climate

The Idaho House of Representatives Education Committee voted to remove references to “climate change” from draft science education standards.

2017-02 Climate Science Misrepresented by Kentucky Mayor KY, Local Govt., State Bias and Misrepresentation Climate

Todd Pollock, the mayor of Bedford in Kentucky, told reporters that the science of climate change is not “settled” and that its causes have yet to be determined.

2017-01-19 Bill Encouraging Discussion of Creationism in Science Class Introduced in Florida FL, State Interference with Education Other

A bill was introduced in the Florida legislature that would, if enacted, allow the discussion of religious beliefs in schools. Critics allege that the bill is intended to undermine the teaching of evolution and encourage discussion of creationism in schools.

2017-01-11 Bill Undermining Science Education Introduced in South Dakota SD, State Interference with Education Climate, Other

A bill was introduced in the South Dakota legislature that would, if enacted, prevent teachers being prohibited from discussing “the strengths and weaknesses” of any scientific theory. Critics say this will undermine science education, giving teachers greater scope to question proven scientific theories, and/or present alternative concepts that have been discredited or are unproven.

2017-01 Scientist Fired from Black Hawk College ID, State Interference with Education, Personnel Changes Other

Black Hawk College announced it would lay-off several faculty members, including a professor of geology, due to a lack of state funding.

2016-12 Kansas Bioscience Authority Privatized KS, State Budget Cuts Other

The Kansas legislature approved a proposal to privatize the Kansas Bioscience Authority (KBA) as part of a plan to address shortfalls in the state budget. The KBA was established in 2004 to support research in the bioscience sector.

2016-12 Discredited Scientific Claims Promoted by Texas Health Department State, TX Bias and Misrepresentation Other

The Texas Department of State Health Services published a booklet for women considering abortion. The booklet includes several disproven scientific claims, including suggesting that abortions cause breast cancer, which the American Cancer Society has forcefully rejected.

2016-12 References to “Climate Change” Removed from Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources’ Website State, WI Government Censorship Climate

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources’ website was changed to downplay the scientific consensus on climate change. A section describing “[h]uman activities . . . [as] the main cause” of climate change was removed and replaced with a statement that the “reasons for [climate] change . . . are being debated.” Another section discussing the likely adverse effects of climate change was also removed and replace with a statement that possible effects “are being debated.”

2016-11-16 Bill to Abolish Agricultural Advisory Boards Introduced in Nevada NV, State Personnel Changes Other

A bill was introduced in the Nevada House of Representatives that would, if enacted, abolish the Garlic and Onion Growers Advisory Board, the Alfalfa Seed Advisory Board, and the Advisory Council for Organic Agricultural Products.