A Georgia lawmaker is pushing to pass a bill that would require all license plates in the state to carry the motto “In God We Trust.”
Republican Senator Bill Heath filed the bill, SB 293, on Tuesday, the first day to submit proposed laws and resolutions for next year’s legislative session, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
Currently in the state, motorists can purchase a sticker with the proposed motto for $1, which they can place over the usual county name decal. But with the new bill, all plates would be required to have the nation’s motto printed directly on the plates.
Motorists however would be given the option to purchase a county decal sticker to cover the “In God We Trust” phrase if they desired.
The proposal of the bill comes in direct response to the voting controversy that occurred last July in Georgia.
A public contest was held by the state to pick a new license plate design. People were given the opportunity to vote online on the Revenue Department’s website, with eight options to choose from. Three of the proposed plates had “In God We Trust” written at the bottom.
The three license plates with the “In God We Trust” motto were chosen as the three finalists.
The department failed to mention, however, that the “In God We Trust” motto would not be permanently printed on the plates but only be an optional sticker people could purchase separately, resulting in a re-vote.
“The department, seeing great demand for the decals, decided to profit by charging for a decal that, according to data, only costs 9.8 cents to manufacture and distribute,” Heath said in a newsletter, according to the Dallas-HiramPatch.
“So now it seems that we not only have a government willing to dissolve [its] Christian roots – we also have a government trying to make another buck, well 90 cents, off those who still cling to our motto, ‘In God We Trust.’”
With Heath's proposed bill, the motto would finally become a permanent fixture on the plates.
“To be fair and to avoid any additional cost burden on taxpayers, the Department of Revenue [would] only be authorized to charge the cost to manufacture and distribute the county decals,” Heath shared in regards to the other option that would be made available for those who did not want to display the nation’s motto on their plates. “The decal would be applied to the space reserved for ‘In God We Trust.’”
If SB 293 is passed, the act will go into effect on all license plates made after July 1, 2012.
“If our nation’s motto is good enough for our currency and our patriotic songs, how can it not be acceptable for our license plates?” concluded Heath.