Governor Perdue Applauds Senate Rules Committee for Passage of Faith and Family Services Amendment
|Monday, January 12, 2004||
Contact: Office of Communications 404-651-7774
Amendment Passes Committee with Unanimous, Bipartisan Support
Atlanta - Governor Sonny Perdue applauded today the Rules Committee of the Georgia State Senate for the bipartisan and unanimous passage of the Faith and Family Services Amendment to the Georgia Constitution. The constitutional amendment will allow faith-based social service providers to compete for state funds without facing discrimination.
"The Senate Rules Committee has demonstrated compassion for their fellow Georgians in need by unanimously passing the Faith and Family Services Amendment. I appreciate their bipartisan support. This amendment will remove a barrier that prevents the delivery of critical family and social services to Georgia citizens. The Faith and Family Services Amendment will support the compassionate efforts of Georgia 's faith-based organizations," said Governor Sonny Perdue. "I look forward to the full Senate's consideration of the bill. And I call on the House to quickly take up this important amendment that will impact so many lives across our state."
Georgia 's Blaine Amendment 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's proposal will add to the beginning of the Blaine Amendment the following: "except as permitted or required by the United State Constitution, as amended."
The resolution will require a two-thirds vote in the House and Senate for passage. Upon passage, the amendment will appear on the November 2004 ballot and require a majority vote.