Thursday, February 27, 2014

Virginia Legislature Passes Student Religious Expression Bill; Veto Expected

As reported by Metro Weekly, yesterday the Virginia General Assembly gave final passage to SB 236 which protects student religious expression in public schools. The vote was 20-18 in the Senate and 64-34 in the House of Delegates.  The bill would protect voluntary student prayer and prayer gatherings before, during and after school; wearing of clothing or jewelry displaying religious messages; and expression of religious viewpoints by neutrally selected student speakers at graduation and similar events. As reported in Tuesday's Roanoke Times, Gov. Terry McAuliffe's office has said that the governor will veto the bill out of concern for its constitutionality and its unintended consequences.

UPDATE: The Washington Post reports, as expected, that Gov. McAuliffe vetoed the bill on April 4.  [Thanks to Scott Mange for the lead.]