Faith and Family Services
Governor Perdue believes the state of Georgia should allow faith-based social service providers to compete for government funding in order to maintain and improve services for all at-risk Georgians, especially children. Under current law, funding for many of these programs is in jeopardy.
Faith and Family Service organizations play a vital role in this state, and they do so with remarkable compassion. Often these institutions offer a level of care that state government cannot match, which is the fundamental reason the funds for these service providers must be sustained. The Governor has proposed, through his Faith and Family Services Amendment, making the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution the standard for providing compassionate care in Georgia.
Georgia 's Constitution provides that "[n]o money shall ever be taken from the public treasury, directly or indirectly, in aid of any church, sect, cult, or religious denomination or of any sectarian institution." This presents an even higher barrier to faith-based initiatives than the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The Faith and Family Services Amendment would add 12 words to the beginning of the Blaine Amendment as follows: "except as permitted or required by the United States Constitution, as amended." With the addition of these 12 words, the state Constitution would no longer discriminate against faith-based organizations.
Governor Perdue believes discrimination against private, voluntary groups merely because of connections to religious organizations should not be practiced in this state.