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July 13, 2014

Flynn intends to re-file 10 Commandments legislation

The Texas Department of Transportation initiated a fierce debate earlier this year after informing a Texas woman that she could no longer display a sign featuring the 10 Commandments.

Potential changes to the Texas Administrative Code would allow the woman to keep her sign, changes that State Representative Dan Flynn (R-Van) supports. Flynn also said he would re-file legislation in the upcoming Texas legislative session that would allow public school teachers to display the 10 Commandments in their classrooms, should they choose to do so.

In April, TxDOT sent a letter to Jeanette Golden, asking her to remove her sign, which prominently displayed the 10 Commandments. The sign could be seen from Highway 21 near Hemphill, Texas, about three hours southeast of Greenville.

An obscure Texas law, which was initiated by the Federal Highway Beautification Act, places restrictions on signs within specific distance of state or federal highways. That is, unless the sign is commercial or industrial.

The law currently has several exceptions, but none that would allow Golden to keep her sign on her property. That may all change this month when the Texas Transportation Commission votes on a proposal that would provide an exception to non-commercial, non-political signs smaller than 96 square feet that sit on an individual’s property.

Flynn sent a letter to TxDOT Commissioner Joe Weber on May 30, addressing concerns he had in regards to Golden’s case.

Earlier this week, he sent out a statement supporting the proposed changes to the Texas Administrative Code.

“Should the recommended changes to the Administrative Code that are currently being proposed by the Texas Transportation Commission [pass], it seems that Mrs. Golden and all other private property owners wishing to display signage on their property will have the ability to without further interference,” he said.

Flynn also said that he intends to re-file legislation in the upcoming legislative session that would allowed public school teachers to display the 10 Commandments in classrooms.

“In the 83rd Session of the Texas Legislature I filed a bill that would have allowed public school teachers the opportunity to display the 10 Commandments in their classroom if they so choose,” he said.

 “I believe this document is a critical piece of our heritage and, aside from religious affiliation, offers our children not only an understanding of our Nation’s history, but instills in us all a sense of morality and respectability to inspire them to one day participate in its procedure and serve as a representative of the people. I intend to re-file this legislation for the upcoming 84th session and see it pass into law.”

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