OUR last report on this issue was here: School Prayer in Florida: It’s Back! In that post we reported that Rep. Brad Drake had pre-filed a bill for the next legislative session that would “allow school boards to permit prayer at a non-mandatory school event, such as an assembly, sporting event or other school-related activity.”
The legislature is in session now, so It’s time to re-visit the matter. We’re aware that Drake’s bill doesn’t strictly relate to The Controversy between evolution and creationism, but school prayer and teaching creationism usually involve similar motivation, and it’s often the same people who promote both kinds of law, so this is entirely relevant to our interests.
Drake’s proposal is now being actively considered in the 2010 session of the Florida Legislature. Here’s a link to the legislative history of the bill in the Florida House: HB 31. It was recently reported favorably out of the committee on Pre-K-12 Policy, and also by the Civil Justice & Courts Policy Committee. It is “Now in Policy Council,” whatever that means.
Here’s the companion bill in the Florida Senate: SB 1580. It’s been referred to the Education Pre-K – 12 and to the Judiciary committees. Apparently no action has yet been taken there. Interestingly, the Senate’s Education Pre-K – 12 Committee includes some familiar names from former creationist legislative attempts: Ronda Storms and Stephen Wise.
We don’t know where this thing is going, if anywhere. If it passes, it’ll probably end up in court. If it fails, it’s safe to predict that we’ll see it again — or something like it — in years to come.
Addendum: According to this pdf file at the Florida Senate’s website, the legislative session is scheduled to end on 30 April 2010.
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