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`Faith-based' legislation advances in Georgia. (AU Bulletin).

Georgia's legislature is poised to follow President George W. Bush's lead and expand public aid to religious groups to provide social services.

In March, the Georgia House voted to support a bill to allow faith-based charities to apply for funds the state receives through federal grants. The measure passed with minimal opposition and was endorsed by Georgia Gov. Roy Barnes (D).

At a rally at the state capitol to show support for the issue, Barnes told an audience of religious and community leaders that funding faith-based groups is wise policy.

"We're all people of faith, or should be," Barnes said.

State lawmakers are also considering a measure that would allow voters a chance to vote on weakening the state constitution's provisions on church-state separation.

Currently, Georgia's state constitution has some of the strongest church-state language in the nation, with a provision explicitly stating, "[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."
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Publication:Church & State
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1U5GA
Date:May 1, 2002
Words:172
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