WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A Democratic congressman from Central Florida announced federal legislation Tuesday to curb book bans across the country.
U.S. Rep. Maxwell Frost, D-Fla., rolled out his proposed legislation, called the Fight Book Bans Act, during a news conference held outside the U.S. Capitol.
The legislation would fund up to $100,000 for school districts to fight the costly process of challenging book bans.
Watch live as Rep. Maxwell Frost [FL-10] introduces the Fight Book Bans Act at the U.S. Capitol. https://t.co/rm37iDMRGe— Congressman Maxwell Alejandro Frost (@RepMaxwellFrost) December 5, 2023
If passed, the bill would set aside a total of $15 million.
"The process is very expensive and out of reach for these school boards that are already underfunded because they're in Republican states," Frost said. "So what we wanted to do was find a way to give and to arm our school boards with the resources that they need to fight to ensure that Rosa Parks stays on the shelf, to fight to ensure that Roberto Clemente stays on the shelf, to fight to ensure that Amanda Gorman stays on the shelf."
Florida made up 40% of the book bans in the country last year, according to free speech group PEN America.
Democratic representatives from Texas, Maryland and Ohio were also present to support the proposal.
U.S. Rep. Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick, D-Fla., was among the lawmakers who spoke at the announcement.
"These book bans are intended to take away our humanity and to prevent our children from learning humanity," Cherfilus-McCormick said.
The Florida Department of Education has repeatedly said, "There are no book bans in Florida."
However, the state has given parents more rights to challenge school reading material through recent legislation, and that can lead to a book's removal if deemed not appropriate.