State Representative Adam Niemerg (R-Dieterich) is pleased to announce that his legislation to permit the displaying of “In God We Trust” at Illinois public schools has passed the House of Representatives and now heads to the Senate for consideration. This legislation would allow school boards to display the motto “In God We Trust” in a conspicuous location inside or outside each school building.
“There is a special sense of accomplishment when I can fulfill a promise I made to the voters of my district,” commented Rep. Adam Niemerg. “I said multiple times I want to help put God back into decision making in Springfield and help bring God back to our schools. In God We Trust is our nation’s motto and a reminder of who we are and what we stand for.”
“In God We Trust” was adopted as the official motto of the United States sixy-five years ago in 1956. Several states have recently voted to allow or require the motto to be posted in public schools, including: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Louisiana, North Carolina, South Dakota, and Tennessee.
The witness slips filed on this legislation were 3 to 1 in favor of the proposal from parents, educators, and values advocates including Pro-Family Alliance and the Illinois Family Institute. As part of the public record, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) and the Illinois Education Association (IEA) remained neutral on the proposal.
“It is great to see bipartisan support allowing school districts to display “In God We Trust” in school buildings,” said Dr. Kyle Thompson, Regional Superintendent at the Regional Office of Education #11. “Our great country was established on this cornerstone and it symbolizes the core values of freedom and faith that bind us all together. It is vital to preserve representation of the belief in God, which is the foundation that everything is built upon.”
In Aronow v. United States, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that the practice of having “In God We Trust” was constitutional by maintaining that the national motto has no purpose in a coercive power to aid religion. Several cases have been brought up since then, including in May 2018 when a federal appeals court in Chicago upheld the use of the motto on U.S. currency.
“I would like to thank everyone who took the time to register your opinions on this legislation during the public hearing process,” added Rep. Niemerg. “I encourage people to stay involved in the legislative process and continue to express your opinions about this bill as it heads to the Senate for consideration.”