SURFSIDE, Fla — During a visit Monday at The Shul in Surfside, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed two bills aimed at expanding religious practices in state institutions.
Speaking to a crowd at the South Florida Jewish community center, the governor touted his pro-Israel legislation and the list of laws he's passed that have benefitted the Jewish community.
DeSantis added to that list with the two pieces of legislation he signed into law on Monday.
One of those bills would require a moment of silence at the start of every public school day. It amends current law that allows school districts to have a moment of silence for prayer or meditation but doesn’t require it. The bill also says teachers cannot "make suggestions as to the nature of any reflection that a student may engage in during the moment of silence."
Opponents say the measure promotes prayer in school, questioning whether students could pull out a rosary, make the sign of the cross or use a prayer rug and wondered if that would make some students uncomfortable.
"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," DeSantis said.
The second bill the governor signed into law recognizes and authorizes volunteer ambulance services in Florida, which the governor said would benefit organizations like Hatzalah -- a volunteer emergency medical service that mainly serves high-density Jewish communities.
The laws will go into effect on July 1.
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