LITTLE ROCK (KFSM) – The Arkansas Senate passed a bill on Wednesday (March 25) that would allow a 10 Commandments monument on the grounds of the capitol, officials said.
The bill passed with a vote of 27-3, according to legislators.
Sen. Jason Rapert, R-Conway, filed the bill on March 9 at 2:25 p.m., and it is called SB 939, according to legislative records.
The bill states that the Arkansas Secretary of State may “permit and arrange for the placement on the State Capitol grounds of a suitable monument commemorating the Ten Commandments.”
Citing the case of Van Orden v. Perry, the bill states that the monument would be considered constitutional.
If passed, the bill would enable the secretary of state to help private entities in selecting a location for the monument and to pick a time for its placement.
The bill also states that if the legality of the monument is challenged in a court of law, the attorney general may prepare and present a legal defense or request that the Liberty Legal Institute prepare and present a legal defense of the monument.
SB 939 closes by stating, “The placement of the monument under this section shall not be construed to mean that the State of Arkansas favors any particular religion or denomination over others.”
“I want to thank the Arkansas Senate for overwhelmingly passing SB 939 today, with 27 yes votes, to allow for a monument to honor the moral foundation of American Jurisprudence – the Ten Commandments,” Rapert said on his Facebook page.
SB 939 now goes to the Arkansas House Committee on State Agencies & Governmental Affairs where it is scheduled for a vote on Friday (March 27) at 9 a.m., according to legislative records.