Fla. governor signs bill requiring moment for school prayer

Jun 14, 2021, 2:11 PM | Updated: 4:39 pm
An unidentified man is taken out as he interrupts Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Monday, June 14, 2021,...

An unidentified man is taken out as he interrupts Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Monday, June 14, 2021, at the Shul of Bal Harbour, a Jewish community center in Surfside, Fla. DeSantis visited the South Florida temple to denounce anti-Semitism and stand with Israel, while signing a bill into law that would require public schools in his state to set aside moments of silence for children to meditate or pray. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

(AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis visited a South Florida Jewish temple to denounce anti-Semitism and stand with Israel, as the Republican governor cloaked himself in religion Monday while signing a bill into law that would require public schools in his state to set aside at least one minute of silence for children to meditate or pray.

His visit to the Shul of Bal Harbour, a Jewish community center in Surfside, Florida, had the air of a campaign event.

DeSantis seemed to blush when the Rabbi Sholom Lipskar introduced him as a “great governor and future world leader.” It has been speculated that the governor, who is running for reelection next year, might run for president in 2024.

DeSantis visited the temple to sign two bills into law. One would expand the role of volunteer ambulance services, while the other makes Florida one of at least 15 states, a legislative analysis said, that would compel schools to hold moments of silence at public schools. The state had already been among roughly 18 other states that gave schools the option to do so.

“It’s something that’s important to be able to provide each student the ability, every day, to be able to reflect and to be able to pray as they see fit,” DeSantis said. “The idea that you can just push God out of every institution, and be successful — I’m sorry, our founding fathers did not believe that.”

The ambulance bill allows some volunteer first responders, including those run by faith-based groups, to use emergency lights and sirens when responding to emergencies. Some Orthodox Jews rely on these volunteer ambulance services to help overcome religious sensitivities that prevent some people form using traditional emergency services.

The ambulance bill was championed in the state Senate by Democrat Jason Pizzo, the only elected Democrat to take the stage with the governor during the bill signings.

Pizzo also supported the legislation that requires moments of silence in schools, saying the students won’t be required to pray during those moments set aside by schools.

“It’s like a moment of meditation, relaxation, connection,” he said.

DeSantis used the event to tout his support for Israel, which he visited in his first year of office. During his speech, he referred to the United Nations as corrupt, saying the world body does more to sanction Israel than castigate China, which he lumped with what he referred to as “rogue regimes.”

As DeSantis began speaking, authorities forcibly removed a heckler from the hall. It was unclear what message the man was making as police pulled him away, most of his words inaudible to those watching a broadcast of the rally.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Associated Press

Man charged with attempted murder in shooting of Indiana cop

RICHMOND, Ind. (AP) — Prosecutors on Friday filed two attempted murder charges and four other counts against a man accused of shooting an eastern Indiana police officer in the head during a traffic stop and search for possible narcotics. The Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office also has charged Phillip Matthew Lee, 47, of Richmond, with three […]
13 hours ago
Associated Press

Respected snake researcher dies from rattlesnake bite

FALLS CHURCH, Va. (AP) — A respected snake researcher who had been making significant discoveries about the species since childhood has died after being bitten by a timber rattler. William H. “Marty” Martin died Aug. 3 after being bitten the day before by a captive snake on the property at his home in Harpers Ferry, […]
13 hours ago
Associated Press

Closing prices for crude oil, gold and other commodities

Benchmark U.S. crude oil for September delivery fell $2.25 to $92.09 a barrel Friday. Brent crude for October delivery fell $1.45 to $98.15 a barrel. Wholesale gasoline for September delivery fell 2 cents to $3.05 a gallon. September heating oil rose 4 cents to $3.52 a gallon. September natural gas fell 10 cents to $8.77 […]
13 hours ago
Associated Press

Russian GDP drops 4% in Q2 — 1st full quarter of fighting

MOSCOW (AP) — Russia’s gross domestic product contracted 4% in the second quarter of this year, the first full quarter since Russia sent troops into Ukraine, the state statistical service said Friday. Russia was hit with a wide array of sanctions following its move into Ukraine on Feb. 24, including sanctions that cut off some […]
13 hours ago
House Intelligence Committee ranking member Rep. Mike Turner, R-Ohio, second from right, joined by ...
Associated Press

GOP backs Trump, escalates dark rhetoric after FBI search

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans in Congress who are relying on Donald Trump to excite voters in the fall elections are not only defending the former president against the FBI search of his Mar-a-Lago home but politically capitalizing on it with grave and potentially dangerous rhetoric against the nation’s justice system. The party that once stood […]
13 hours ago
FILE - In this Thursday, June 10, 2021, file photo, a pair of migrant families from Brazil pass thr...
Associated Press

Arizona won’t wait for feds, starts filling border wall gaps

PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona began moving in shipping containers to close a 1,000-foot gap in the border wall near the southern Arizona farming community of Yuma on Friday, with officials saying they were acting to stop migrants after repeated, unfulfilled promises from the Biden administration to block off the area. The move by Arizona comes […]
13 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Here are 4 signs the HVAC unit needs to be replaced

Pool renovations and kitchen upgrades may seem enticing, but at the forefront of these investments arguably should be what residents use the most. In a state where summertime is sweltering, access to a functioning HVAC unit can be critical.
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Most plumbing problems can be fixed with regular maintenance

Instead of waiting for a problem to happen, experts suggest getting a head start on your plumbing maintenance.
...
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Vaccines are safe if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

Are you pregnant? Do you have a friend or loved one who’s expecting?
Fla. governor signs bill requiring moment for school prayer