Governor Blunt wants to see if cooperation between state government and faith-based agencies can be expanded.

Missouri government has around 2,300 contracts with both faith and community based agencies. State government relies on them to provide services such as care for children and drug rehabilitation for prisoners. Blunt says his initiative, Faith-Based Missouri, will look to expand that relationship. The governor says he understands concerns about separation of church and state and says the state will ensure that no agency that receive state funds will evangelize. Also, Blunt says Faith-Based Missouri won’t be restricted to any one denomination or faith.

A five person team will evaluate how Missouri uses faith-based agencies now; what the state is doing right, what it’s doing wrong and what can be done to encourage greater cooperation.

The five members of the team are Reynaldo Anderson of St. Louis, an assistant professor of education at Harris-Stowe University; The Rev. Andrew Rollins III of Kansas City, an ordained Itinerant Elder in the AME Church; Cole County Sheriff Greg White; Blunt’s Chief of Staff Ed Martin; and Angel McCormick Franks of St. Louis, Director of the Office of Supplier and Workforce Diversity.

The initiative springs from SB 46 approved this year.

Download/listen Brent Martin reports (:70 MP3)