SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Libraries in the state of Missouri could be facing a funding crisis… after the House of Representatives in Missouri passed a bill to completely defund libraries across the state.

Regina Greer-Cooper, the executive director for the Springfield-Greene County Library District, said this bill came as a shock because she just met with House Representative Cody Smith, who led the charge for defunding public libraries earlier this year.

“It came out of the blue,” Greer-Cooper said. “We were stunned. I was up in Jefferson City with a group from the Springfield metro partnerships in January, and one of many meetings that day was with Cody Smith, the chair of the house appropriations committee. Why did not come up?”

In 2022, a law was passed in Missouri which banned books that contained “explicit sexual material.”

The Missouri Association of School Librarians and the Missouri Library Association along with the ACLU have filed a lawsuit to overturn that recent law.

House Representative Cody Smith argued libraries can not use tax dollars to sue but the ACLU has quickly denied this claim.

Smith is from Carthage. Greer-Cooper said she has been in touch with Carthage’s libraries director and it was a shock to all when the news was announced.

“When this was announced, I think everybody was taken aback. Why are you doing this? Because he too has been a supporter of libraries,“ said Greer-Cooper.