The state senate is moving to let taxpayer money be spent on encouraging faith-based organizations to try to get government money.
Senator Rob Mayer of Dexter wants to have the Department of Social Services pay several staff members to recruit faith-based organizations to get state and federal money to run social services programs. His bill targets church congregations, national religious networks and non-profit religious organizations.
He says those organizations need to be aware of the needs they can meet with government money—drug treatment, juvenile delinquency prgorams, crime prevention, efforts to meet housing services, fight child abuse, provide services to the elderly—things like that.
But St. Louis Senator Joan Bray thinks the program crosses the line separating church from state. She says it would be better to have the liaisons work with all non-profit organizations rather than secify their work be to recruit religious groups.
Bray thinks May’s proposal is an improper use of taxpayers money. He says he just wants the groups to know they can bid for state contracts.