What is the cost of such a gesture?

In his State of the State address last week, one proposal by Gov. Phil Bryant got a standing ovation from many Mississippi lawmakers and other state officials in the audience.

That was to add the nation’s official motto, “In God We Trust,” to the state seal.

We don’t object to the change. The slogan has been on U.S. coins since 1864 and paper currency since 1957. The U.S. Supreme Court has said the motto does not establish a state religion and is therefore constitutional.

Still, we’d like Bryant to spell out what the change will cost. There are a lot of engravings, floor tiles and other permanent markers on state buildings that would have to be replaced, not to mention printed material.

At a time when the governor is saying the state can’t afford a lot of the things it should do, such as extending Medicaid to the working poor, we’d like to know how much he wants to spend on a symbolic gesture designed only to get votes.

Tim Kalich

Greenwood Commonwealth