Tallahassee Trend - The Amendments
Florida Amendment 8 - Religious Funding
(Formerly Amendment 7. There is no Amendment 7 on the ballot.)
Main Sponsors: Sen. Thad Altman (R-Melbourne), Rep. Scott Plakon (R-Longwood) and Rep. Steve Precourt (R-Orlando),
Title: Religious Freedom
What It Would Do: Would repeal the Florida Constitution’s prohibition on state funding of religious organizations
Background: Proponents say that Amendment 8 is about the “continued delivery of non-sectarian social services by religious groups.” Opponents, however, believe the main purpose of the GOP-backed amendment is to knock out a barrier to school voucher programs.
Proponents: Former Republican Rep. Juan Zapata, through a group called Citizens for Religious Freedom and Non-Discrimination; Florida Family Action; Florida Catholic Conference; Diocese of Venice; Florida Chamber of Commerce. Legislation placing the amendment on the ballot passed the House and Senate largely along party lines.
Opponents: ACLU of Florida; Americans United for the Separation of Church and State; Anti-Defamation League; Florida Education Association; Democratic Progressive Caucus of Florida
Budget Impact: Private religious institutions could benefit from receiving more public funds