Governor Perdue to Reintroduce Faith and Family Services Amendment
|Friday, January 7, 2005||
Contact: Office of Communications 404-651-7774
ALBANY, GA – Governor Sonny Perdue announced today his intentions to reintroduce the Faith and Family Services Amendment in the upcoming legislative session. This amendment to the Georgia Constitution will allow faith-based social service providers to compete for state funds without facing discrimination.
“I want faith-based, community organizations to be able to continue contracting with state agencies to provide vital social services,” said Governor Sonny Perdue. “Faith-based service organizations should have the same opportunity as other organizations to compete and serve citizens in need throughout our state.”
Georgia’s Constitution currently 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 will bring the Georgia Constitution in line with the United States Constitution.
Governor Perdue made the Faith and Family Services Amendment announcement at the Albany Outreach Center, an interdenominational ministry. The Center’s Alzheimer’s Caregiver Time Out (ACTO) program and the in-home respite care program receive funds from the Georgia Department of Human Resources, Division of Aging Services through the SOWEGA Council on Aging.
The resolution will require a two-thirds vote in the House and Senate for passage. Upon passage, the amendment will appear on the November 2006 ballot and require a majority vote.
Text of the Faith and Family Services Amendment
Proposing an amendment to the Constitution so as to prevent discrimination in the public funding of health and social services by allowing religious or sectarian organizations to receive public aid, directly or indirectly, for the provision of such services in a manner consistent with the United States Constitution; to provide for the submission of this amendment for ratification or rejection; and for other purposes.
BE IT RESOLVED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA:
Article I, Section II of the Constitution is amended by adding the following underlined language so that Paragraph VII reads as follows:
“Paragraph VII. Separation of church and state. Except as permitted or required by the United States Constitution, as amended, no 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.”
The above proposed amendment to the Constitution shall be published and submitted as provided in Article X, Section I, Paragraph II of the Constitution. The ballot submitting the above proposed amendment shall have written or printed thereon the following:
( ) YES
( ) NO
Shall the Constitution be amended in a manner consistent with the United States Constitution so as to prevent discrimination in the public funding of health and social services by allowing religious or sectarian organizations to receive a public aid, directly or indirectly, for the provision of such services.