Florida legislators passed a measure that would require every public school in the state to display the state motto, “In God We Trust.”
House members passed the legislation 97 to 10 on Wednesday, Feb. 21.
A bill with identical language was introduced in the Senate last month.
Both bills state that the motto should be displayed “in a conspicuous place.”
Both bills would take effect on July 1 if passed.
“In God We Trust” is also the national motto.
Rep. Kimberly Daniels, a Democrat from Jacksonville, indirectly referred to the recent shooting in Parkland during a speech on the floor before the vote.
“It is not a secret that we have some gun issues that need to be addressed, but the real thing that needs to be addressed are issues of the heart,” she said, reported NPR.
She said she had a vision earlier in the week.
— Mary Jo Pierce (@MaryJo_Pierce) September 9, 2017
“I believe it was God, and I heard a voice say, ‘Do not politicize what has happened in Florida and do not make this a thing of division,'” she said. Daniels continued to speak about God: “He’s not a Republican and he’s not a Democrat. He’s not black and he’s not white. He is the light. And our schools need light in them like never before.”
Daniels also said that video games are an example of issues that need to be addressed, saying children are being trained to become virtual assassins, reported The Tampa Bay Times.
She suggested that people will come to realize problems are much bigger than politics.
“We cannot put God in a closet when the issues we face are bigger than us,” she said, urging colleagues to back the bill.
The vote came a day after the state Legislature voted against a measure that would ban the sale of assault weapons, and a day after the Legislature declared pornography a public health risk, noted CNN.
The shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14 left 17 people dead.
Although the gun measure was voted down in Florida, President Donald Trump said this week he wants to raise the minimum age for buying semi-automatic weapons from 18 to 21, reported The Associated Press.
The AP also reported that Florida Gov. Rick Scott proposed banning anyone younger than 21 from buying guns as part of a three-part plan introduced in response to the Parkland shooting.