Broward News

Florida "Prayer in Schools" Bill Passes Another Committee, Going to House

We told you earlier this month about SB 98, a bill that passed the Florida Senate that would allow prayer in Florida's public schools. It would have to be approved by both the Florida House and Gov. Rick Scott to become a law, and at the time, nothing had happened in the House to indicate movement.

That's since changed, and the amended, potentially unconstitutional bill is making its way to the House chamber for a second reading.

The bill passed the House Judiciary Committee 11-4, and Florida schools are one step closer to having student prayers at pep rallies.

The bill doesn't affect Florida schools directly -- it simply allows school districts themselves to adopt policies that allow for "inspirational messages," then doesn't restrict inspiration to come from secular sources. The original version of the bill specifically allowed for "prayers of invocation or benediction" but was changed to omit references to prayer.

Supporters of the bill said that since prayer isn't mentioned in the bill, it can't be unconstitutional, according to the Florida Independent. The Florida ACLU disagreed.

According to a handy chart from the Florida Legislature, the bill will get one more reading in the House before coming to a pass/fail vote.

Three of the committee's four dissenting votes in committee were Democrats from South Florida: Ari Porth from Coral Springs, Hollywood's Elaine Schwartz, and Miami Beach's Richard "Sexxxy Mama" Steinberg. Calling Porth and Schwartz for comment, but I'm guessing Steinberg is going to be busy today with questions about why he's a totally creepy anonymous sexter.

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