Religious Funding

The amendment is being pushed by Gov. Sonny Perdue who wants the state to be able to contract with religious groups to help the needy.

The front office of the first United Methodist Church in Thomasville is often full of clothes and necessities for the needy, all donated by caring community members.

"Our church is passionate about making a difference in people's lives, so anything that would help us touch more lives we'd be excited about," says Chris Goff.

State dollars to buy more goods could come their way as early as next year under Gov. Sonny Perdue's proposal of a constitutional amendment to allow the state to contract with faith-based groups.

But the American Civil Liberties Union disagrees with the proposal.

A staff attorney for the ACLE tells Eyewitness News, "What this really is, is an attempt to amend the Georgia constitution to allow the taxpayer's money to fund school vouchers and religious programs."

Some contracts are already in place but language in the current constitution puts them on shaky ground.

Perdue says this amendment will do away with what he calls a "Relic of Bygone Religious Bigotry."

Perdue says faith-based organizations can provide cheaper services for the poor, and he is not proposing that the state provide funding to religious organization.