You Had To Be There . . .


February 24, 2009

We’ve received a few questions about yesterday’s vote in the Senate Courts of Justice Committee on HB 2314, the chaplain prayer bill. The most asked question is simple: What was the actual vote on the bill? Unfortunately, because of the game played in committee, its not as simple as that. In fact, the final vote on the bill is in no way a reflection of where individual legislators actually stood on issue of chaplain prayer or religious freedom.

Essentially, an amendment to the bill (herein referred to as the “Norment Amendment“) added by the committee changed the bill from a pro-religious liberty bill to an anti-religious liberty bill. It changed the bill into what is the current state police policy that censors prayers. Because of the Norment Amendment, we wanted the bill to fail (as did the patron, Delegate Bill Carrico). However, some of the members of the committee (who support religious liberty) voted against killing the bill in hopes that they could fix it later.  Thus, the final vote is very mixed and does not reflect the actual positions of legislators.

Because of the confusion over the final vote, we are counting the vote on the Norment Amendment as the actual position of legislators on the bill (shockingly, this vote is not available online). We do, however, have the entire meeting on video so we have record of that vote.

In a true “you had to be there” example, this is a debate and outcome that can be very confusing. Some legislators who voted to keep the bill alive at the end actually had ill intent for the bill, but my guess is they will attempt to hide behind that final vote. We won’t let them.

We have a small sampling of yesterday’s debate in the video below:

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2 Responses to “You Had To Be There . . .”

  1. vamayhem says:

    If you really want to catch intent or bad votes you should use Marshall’s budget amendment on the issue or prayer or should I say the lack of. Our illustrious speaker of the House actually voted against that amendment with other lame brain republicans.

    • admin says:

      vamayem: First, you attributed this post to me, the admin (and I have since edited that incorrect remark), when, if you showed any level of reading comprehension, you would know I did not write it. That same lack of comprehension shows you did not understand the post: We used this vote for several reasons and never suggested it was a higher priority than any other bill. Please read again if that was not clear.

      We highlighted this particular bill and committee hearing because we had great statewide grassroots interest in it as well as media interest. We had to put our side of the story out to the public. As it turned out, again if you read the post, it also became a very complex parliamentary game and needed to be explained, because we can’t rely on the Mainstream Media to do that. Anyone in tune with consevative grassroots, the media and the General Assembly would understand this.

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