Kentucky Senate votes to display 'In God We Trust' motto in legislative committee rooms

jbrammer@herald-leader.comMarch 27, 2014 

The Kentucky State Capitol building in Frankfort.

SAM RICHE — Lexington Herald-Leader Buy Photo

FRANKFORT — A proposal to place the national motto "In God We Trust" in each legislative committee room passed out of the Senate Thursday evening on a 37-1 vote with no discussion.

In 2006, the Kentucky General Assembly approved displaying the national motto in the House and Senate chambers.

Republican Sen. Albert Robinson of London, who has been active in posting the Ten Commandments as part of historical exhibits in public buildings, sponsored the amendment, which was attached by voice vote to House Bill 81. That measure would set up a work-related incentive program for employees of the Legislative Research Commission.

The only senator voting against the amended bill was Sen. Perry Clark, D-Louisville.

Robinson's amendment said the motto would be displayed "behind each chairman or chairwoman in each committee room used by members of the General Assembly in the Capitol and Capitol Annex."

In a brief interview, Robinson said he wanted the measure "to show the same respect in the committee rooms that we do in the chambers."

He declined to say who asked him to sponsor the amendment.

Asked what he would say to critics who object to the proposal, Robinson said, "I would tell them this is America. God bless America and in God we trust."

Senate President Robert Stivers, R-Manchester, supported the amendment.

"If anybody looks at the dollar bill in their pocket, they will see the same language," Stivers said.

Stivers said he expects private donations to pay for the displays, pledging that "there won't be a dime spent of taxpayers' dollars."

Stivers said there are curtains in several of the committee rooms, but the state seal has been attached to many of the walls even with curtains in place.

Asked if there are any plans to put the state motto, "United We Stand, Divided We Fall" on legislative committee room walls, Stivers said, "We could. There's no prohibition against it."

Jack Brammer: (502) 227-1198. Twitter: @BGPolitics. Blog: bluegrasspolitics.bloginky.com

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