In God We Trust License Plate, but it’s okay, because it’s for old people.

In church/state separation on November 8, 2007 at 5:31 am

While at the Revenue Office (we don’t have DMVs in Arkansas) renewing my driver’s license, I noticed something interesting. Among the various custom license plates for sale (including the controversial “Choose Life” anti-abortion plate) was quite a nice plate depicting the State Capitol Building. We have a nice capitol building, it looks very much like the US Capitol Building. But, wait, what is this?

igwe_lg.jpg

Wait. In God We Trust? Um. So.. my tax dollars paid for this? How did this ever make it through into a law without somebody calling out for separation of church and state? So, Google to the rescue.

Specialty license plate supporting senior citizens’ home-delivered meal program provided by Arkansas Senior Citizen’s Centers.

Oh, it makes perfect sense now. If it’s to help senior citizens, then it can’t be bad, right? I’m all for having a license plate to raise money to bring meals to older people, but this is pretty despicable. I don’t know why the plate couldn’t have said something like “Support the Elderly”, “Meals for Seniors”, or some other phrase that had something to do with the purpose of the plate.

Another interesting thing is that the records of this law have been removed from the link you get when googling for “Arkansas In God We Trust License Plate”.

Here’s the broken link.

But thanks to Google’s cache, we can see the thing that’s been removed:

Subchapter 49. In God We Trust License Plate.

§ 27-15-4904. In God We Trust License Plate Fund.

(a) There is created on the books of the Treasurer of State, the Auditor of State, and the Chief Fiscal Officer of the State a special revenue fund to be known as the “In God We Trust License Plate Fund”.

(b)(1) All moneys collected as design-use contribution fees under § 27-15-4903 shall be deposited into the State Treasury as special revenues to the credit of the In God We Trust License Plate Fund.

(2) The fund shall also consist of any other revenues as may be authorized by law.

(c)(1)(A) The fund shall be used by the Division of Aging and Adult Services of the Department of Health and Human Services to provide quarterly cash grants to each senior citizen center in a similar method as is used in the State of Arkansas’s current system for distributing United States Department of Agriculture money to the senior citizen centers to purchase raw food.

(B) All moneys in the fund shall be used exclusively by the division as provided in subdivisions (c)(2) and (3) of this section.

(C)(i) All moneys collected as design-use contribution fees under § 27-15-4903(a) shall be used exclusively by senior citizen centers for purchasing food for use in a home-delivered meal program.

(ii) No moneys collected as design-use contribution fees under § 27-15-4903(a) shall be used for administration expenses by a state agency, senior citizen center, or any other non-profit or for-profit organization.

(2)(A) The division shall distribute the moneys collected under this subchapter as cash grant awards to senior citizen centers in the State of Arkansas.

(B) The cash grant awards shall be based on the average number of meals served each day for the prior quarter within the senior citizen center’s respective geographic area.

(3) Each senior citizen center that receives a cash grant award under this subchapter shall use the moneys exclusively for purchasing food for use in a home-delivered meal program.

Now, I’m not saying that this was removed on purpose, but I did find it odd.

In any case, I wonder why I haven’t heard anything about this.

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