NO PRAYER, but moment of silence proposed for county meetings

The rules committee of the Marathon County Board is recommending a moment of silence, but not necessarily a prayer, to start future board meetings.

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The proposal by newly elected county board supervisor Jack Hoogendyk, a former Republican Michigan lawmaker, called for starting each meeting with an invocation that often includes prayers. The Supreme Court ruled such invocations are constitutional because they can be any type of prayer or secular affirmation. Several counties in the state, including Portage, have invocations, though most have opted for a moment of silence or nothing at all.

The executive committee will take up the issue at its next meeting, and the full board could vote on it this month, says Corporation Counsel Scott Corbett. It would need a two-thirds majority to pass.