Florida official praises ruling allowing vote on faith-based programs
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CNS) — The executive director of the Florida Catholic Conference praised an Aug. 4 circuit court ruling that clears the way for voters to decide whether the state constitution should be amended to allow public funding of faith-based and school-choice programs. D. Michael McCarron called the decision “a pivotal step toward safeguarding health, education and social service programs in which Floridians benefit through the participation of faith-based providers.” Circuit Court Judge John C. Cooper ruled that a decision by the Florida Taxation and Budget Reform Commission to place two proposed amendments on the Nov. 4 ballot did not exceed the commission’s authority. The first, Ballot Initiative 7, would repeal a provision of the state constitution that prohibits spending public funds on religious institutions. The second, Ballot Initiative 9, would change a section of the constitution to explicitly allow the public funding of scholarships, including those to religious and other private schools.