Legislative Update -- March 21, 2019March 21, 2019
Thanks to the members who have brought two pieces of potential legislation having to do with exotic animal shows to our attention: SB0154 and HB2554. We understand programming librarians are concerned about their ability to continue to offer these popular programs if one or both of these bills were to pass. We've done some research, and are happy to report that neither one seeks to outlaw the shows outright; simply to further define "exotic animal" more broadly than the current definition, which is limited to "elephant." If one or both were to pass, there is no doubt that exotic animal show operators would be affected: They'd have to make arrangements for the newly-illegal animals already in their stables, for example, and perhaps choose to showcase different ones; some may choose not to continue.
Potential library programming could be affected in terms of which animals would be available, but ideally not eliminated altogether. Indications from Springfield are that neither bill currently has enough support to pass, but it is good to be aware of pending legislation.