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Crist: Doing away with separation of church and state not a good idea

Wednesday, April 14th, 2010 by Dara Kam

Gov. Charlie Crist said he didn’t know much about a proposal to do away with the separation of church and state in the Florida constitution passed by committees in the House and Senate yesterday.

But, he said, “On the face of it, it doesn’t sound like a good idea.”

The proposed “Religious Freedom” constitutional amendment could appear on the ballot in November and would set the stage for the resurrection of Gov. Jeb Bush’s school voucher program, struck down by courts two years ago.

The measure is one of several proposals backed by social conservatives that may have more traction this year because of a more right-leaning Senate that in the past was a hurdle for the conservative agenda.

Read more here.

Senate moves to end separation of church and state

Tuesday, April 13th, 2010 by Dara Kam

The separation of church and state has been in Florida’s constitution for more than a century.

But that might this fall under a proposal approved by a Senate committee this morning that could go before voters on the November ballot.

The “Religious Freedom” amendment would delete the 125-year-old provision in the constitution prohibiting state money from being spent directly or indirectly to aid any church, sect or religious denomination. And it would open the door to former Gov. Jeb Bush’s school voucher program allowing public school students to use state money to pay for religious school tuition that the Florida Supreme Court struck down.

Also known as the “Blaine Amendment,” the separation of church and state restriction was an anti-Catholic, anti-immigration measure aimed at keeping Catholics from obtaining government funding for their schools.

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