Motto posting bill makes way to Gov. with hold harmless clause included

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Motto posting bill makes way to Gov. with hold harmless clause included

Local control may have lost out on the motto posting bill, but legislators agreed to protect the schools for following the mandate.


House members amended and passed Senate Bill 55, which requires public schools to display the national motto of the United States – “In God We Trust” – in a prominent location in their buildings with, at minimum, a 12″x12″ display, on a 47-19 vote.


The amendment added to SB 55 includes a hold harmless clause for schools ensuring that should they face legal action related to posting the motto the State’s Attorney General will represent the district at no cost and any legal costs or fines incurred by the district will be paid for by the state.


“If we’re going to stand here as a body…we shouldn’t say, ‘Alright, now good luck,’” Rep. Spencer Gosch told fellow Representatives. “Let’s stand up as a state and be willing to defend (the schools).”


Senators concurred with the amended version of the bill on a 19-13 vote, but not before questions were raised about the effect it could have on local discussions.


“With respect to this bill, it’s going to launch thousands of arguments,” Sen. V.J. Smith told his peers. “I find it ironic, that something that is supposed to be unifying us is going to cause so many arguments.”


ASBSD opposed the bill, which now heads to Gov. Kristi Noem for review and signature.


For updates on this bill and others, check the ASBSD BlogTwitter feedFacebook page and Bill Tracker.

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