BATON ROUGE — Public schools must display the national motto "In God We Trust" beginning in 2019 after Gov. John Bel Edwards signed a bill this week requiring the signage.
Senate Bill 224 by Regina Barrow, D-Baton Rouge, sailed through the Senate and House with little debate and quickly cleared the governor's desk.
Barrow dismissed any potential concerns about separation of church and state.
"We're not pushing God on anybody; we're incorporating it as part of the history of our nation," she said. "It's our national motto, for goodness sake. If it's good enough to be on our money, it's good enough to be in our schools."
The law will also require instruction about the national motto.
Barrow removed language from the bill to assure the legislation wouldn't cost the state or school systems money by requiring expensive signage. All that is required is a paper sign.
"This is part of our country's history," Regina said then. "Our nation was build on a Christian foundation.
"We need to make sure the children know that and pass it on to the next generation."
The 84th Congress passed a joint resolution declaring "In God We Trust" the national motto of the United States" in 1956 without debate. It was signed by President Eisenhower.
Greg Hilburn covers state politics for the USA TODAY Network of Louisiana. Follow him on Twitter @GregHilburn1