Fla. judge tosses Amendment 7 temporarily

Dec. 15, 2011 at 5:16 PM

TALLAHASSEE, Fla., Dec. 15 (UPI) -- A Florida judge temporarily blocked the state legislature's effort to repeal a ban on taxpayer money spent on religious organizations from the Florida ballot.

Circuit Judge Terry Lewis ruled Wednesday to uphold the state's Constitution by giving Attorney General Pam Bondi time to revise what she said is faulty language, The Miami Herald reported.

Supporters of Amendment 7 to the state Constitution say the state should be able to provide educational and social services regardless of the provider's religious affiliation.

"That clause treats people differently based on what they believe," said Longwood Republican Rep. Scott Plakon, who introduced the measure in the House.

Lewis' ruling gives Bondi 10 days to submit revised language to the Department of State.

"It is important that voters have an opportunity to remove from our constitution a provision that discriminates against religious organizations," she said. "The problems identified by the trial court are easily fixable."

Critics then get 10 days to challenge Bondi's revisions.

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