Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Baton Rouge LA: Ten Commandments Monument Wins House Approval

Published: Monday, June 6, 2011 at 7:26 p.m.
BATON ROUGE — Without debate, the House voted 91-0 today to have a Ten Commandments monument placed on the grounds of the Louisiana Capitol.

All Houma-Thibodaux representatives voted in favor except Joe Harrison, R-Napoelonville, who was absent. The others are Reps. Damon Baldone, D-Houma; Gordon Dove, R-Houma; Truck Gisclair, D-Larose; and Dee Richard, no party, Thibodaux.

Similar efforts have drawn legal challenges, but there was no controversy when Rep. Patrick Williams, D-Shreveport, brought the bill up for a vote Monday afternoon. The bill requires that the text on the monument be the same as that used on a monument at the Texas Capitol that was allowed under a 2005 Supreme Court ruling, Van Orden v. Perry.

House Bill 277, by Rep. Patrick Williams, R-Shreveport, goes next to the Senate. It would require the governor's commissioner of administration to arrange for the monument at a place to be determined on the Capitol grounds.

Private entities would submit proposed designs for the monument, which could be up to 6 feet high and 4 feet wide. The bill states that the monument would be constructed and maintained at no cost to the state.

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