Louisiana school prayer bill nears final legislative passage
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - A proposal that could allow Louisiana school employees to pray with students during the class day edged closer to final legislative passage despite concerns it could embroil the state in litigation.
The measure by Sen. Ryan Gatti, a Bossier City Republican, would allow teachers and other workers to pray with students during the workday, if parents of every student in attendance submit a signed request and if the prayer is student-initiated.
The House Education Committee voted 10-4 Tuesday to advance the Senate-approved measure to the full House for debate. Opponents of the bill say it likely would provoke a lawsuit, and they feared that lawsuit could undermine other existing so-called "religious freedom" laws on the books.
Gatti says they're misunderstanding how his proposal would work.