" RICHMOND -- The Virginia Senate has passed legislation designed to protect the rights of public school students to voluntarily pray and participate in religious activities on school grounds, despite objections from lawmakers who said the proposal would invite lawsuits.
The Senate’s 20-18 vote was a victory for Republican Sen. Bill Carrico, R-Grayson County, one of the General Assembly’s most persistent advocates for allowing prayer and religious expression in public settings. The final vote broke largely along party lines. Just one Democrat, Sen. Phillip Puckett of Russell County, supported the bill. Sen. John Watkins of Powhatan was the only Republican to oppose it.
Carrico’s bill (SB 236) now goes to the Republican-dominated House of Delegates, where he expects it to get a friendly reception."