A bill to put the national motto, “In God We Trust” in almost every state building passed in the State House of Representatives.
Backers said this isn’t about religion. It’s about our nation’s history.
“Why don’t we put the state motto on the state buildings, labor conquers all things?” asked Representative David Perryman (D) Minority Floor Leader.
Representative Jay Steagall (R) Yukon, who presented the bill, replied, “If you wanted to run a bill to put the state motto on the buildings that would be a good bill to run.”
The cost to put the motto in state buildings, according to the state Office of Management and Enterprise Services, is about $85,500.
“The estimated cost from OMES per building is about $250 -- so that’s just for signage -- is the way that it’s written. It will go on the existing building. Right now, we have about 342 of those buildings so that’s where the $85, 500 came from.” Steagall said.
Representative Collin Walke (D) Oklahoma City said for that much money 17 Oklahomans could go through mental health court.
“That’s the number of people we could radically change their lives. Make them productive tax paying citizens in this state to get back to their families, but we don’t really want to help people. We just want to sit here and put mottos on buildings,” said Walke.
“The God that I serve does not want to be a fixture on our buildings. He wants to be a fixture in our hearts,” Representative Andy Fugate added.
According to the legislation, the signs would have to be the size of the motto displayed at the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center. That’s about 4 feet by 70 feet. So, opponents question whether the cost estimates are accurate. The bill now goes to the Senate for a vote.