NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Tennessee’s GOP supermajority has not stopped working on other bills despite the controversy of the past couple of weeks.

Legislation that would change police oversight boards and attempt to block publishers from sending “obscene” books to school libraries is getting closer to passage.

“We are spending a lot of resources and time on things that are not of the utmost importannce right now,” said Former President of the Tennessee Library Association Erika Long.

On Monday, the Tennessee Senate passed a bill that would charge book publishers with a felony if they, “distribute obscene matter to a public school serving any of the grades kindergarten
through twelve.”

“The book gets into the library some way or another so we are going after the seller that provides it?” asked Rep. Bud Hulsey (R—Kingsport), with agreement from bill sponsor Rep. Susan Lynn (R—Mt. Juliet).

Lynn said the definition of “obscene” is already in Tennessee law but Long still felt the word was unclear.

“It lacks what the understanding of how you might define obscenity,” Long said. “It’s not like they are just pushing books out to us, giving them away like Halloween candy or anything like that.”

Long says this bill won’t impact the publisher-librarian relationship too much but will mainly scare and worry librarians and make them question their professional judgment.

“Honestly, I feel like a lot of the legislation that comes out or has come out regarding censorship lacks an understanding of what librarianship looks like,” she said.

The bill has passed the Senate and will be up for consideration on the House floor on April 17.

Also advancing is a bill that would abolish community oversight boards that review police policies and actions and create what would be called police advisory and review committees.

According to bill sponsor Sen. Mark Pody (R—Lebanon), the intention of the bill is to add clarity to these groups.

“We are trying to bring uniformity across the state so all of them would be operating the exact same way,” he said.

However, Democrats feared that this will dismantle existing organizations keeping an eye on law enforcement’s actions.

“It worries me to come in on top and to change what has been going on in all these different places oftentimes after a lot of work at the local government level,” said Sen. Jeff Yarbro (D—Nashville).

That bill passed in the Senate and will be considered by a House committee on Tuesday.