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The members of the state Senate Government Reform committee debated two bills outlining what teachers can say in the classroom. Senate Bill 1202 bans partisan speech, which means a teacher cannot advocate for a particular political position.

Backers of the proposal say it is aimed at Tucson Unified School District, as a result of the controversy surrounding the Mexican American Studies program. Originally, the bill banned partisan books, but that language was changed due to the potential historic nature of some partisan books.

Committee members, including those who support the idea did express certain concerns however because “partisan” is not defined in the bill. The bill's sponsors promised to clarify that language before a final vote is taken on the floor of the Senate.

The Government Reform committee also passed Senate Bill 1205, a proposal banning teachers from using words prohibited by the Federal Communications Commission for use on radio and television. Some legislators questioned why a state law is needed for that particular issue.

Both proposals easily passed but still need approval of the full House and Senate as well as the Governor’s approval.