Good news! After Republican legislators in the state House defunded the state’s libraries for daring to sue the state to overturn a censorship law, the State Senate restored the libraries’ funding of $4.5 million. Yes, there are some sane Republicans in Missouri.

JEFFERSON CITY — The chief Senate budget writer said he plans to restore state funding for Missouri’s public libraries that was stripped out of the House version of the state’s spending plan.

Sen. Lincoln Hough, R-Springfield, who chairs the Senate Appropriations Committee, said Tuesday that the panel will place $4.5 million back in the budget, which covers spending for the fiscal year beginning July 1.

“There is no way that money is not going back into the budget,” Hough told the Post-Dispatch.

The restoration could mark the second reversal of a House budget prioritythat has stirred controversy under the Capitol dome. Hough and Senate President Caleb Rowden earlier said they oppose Republican language in the House blueprint that would prohibit the state from spending tax dollars on diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives….

The library money was removed from the House blueprint by House Budget Chairman Cody Smith and backed by the Republicans who control the chamber last week. He cited a lawsuit by two library groups to overturn a new state law banning sexually explicit material in school libraries.

The ACLU, the Missouri Association of School Librarians, and the Missouri Library Association in February asked a judge in Kansas City to find the law unconstitutional or clarify how and when it applies.

Smith, R-Carthage, believes the state shouldn’t subsidize the lawsuit by giving public libraries money.

Hough’s hometown library district, which covers Springfield and Greene County, would receive an estimated $368,000 if the money is restored.

Hough said libraries serve multiple purposes in communities, allowing people to not only get books, but internet service, job assistance and programs for adults and children.

“Libraries are an important resource for so many people,” Hough said.