Florida Commission Takes Steps to Undermine Church-State Wall

Florida’s Taxation and Budget Reform Commission today took a step towards weakening religious liberty by placing on the ballot "Proposal 20" — a measure that would remove a critical provision from the Florida Constitution expressly prohibiting taxpayer dollars from being used to aid religious institutions.

"Florida’s Constitution protects all Floridians’ religious liberty by preventing the government from funneling tax dollars to favored religious organizations," said People For the American Way President Kathryn Kolbert. "Playing politics with religious liberty is divisive and destructive. This is a dangerous idea."

The Taxation and Budget Reform Commission is formed once every 20 years to study Florida's tax code and has the ability to put proposed amendments to the state Constitution directly on the ballot. Proposal 20 would eliminate language from the Constitution that protects the religious liberty of all Floridians by expressly prohibiting the use of public funds in aid of "any church, sect or religious denomination or in aid of any sectarian institution."

To become part of the Florida Constitution, Proposal 20 would have to garner support of at least 60% of voters in the November election.

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