Governors Call for State Faith-Based Initiative Office

( [email protected] ) Mar 24, 2004 09:00 AM EST

WASHINGTON -- Gov. Bob Ehrlich and Lt. Gov. Michael Steele yesterday asked religious leaders and ministers to join them for a rally in support of faith-based initiatives and expressed their hope for the House of Delegates to remove the amendment added by the Senate which would put restriction on the state’s ability to distribute federal funding for faith-based organizations.

They are calling for the establishment of a Governor’s Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives but the senators are against the office saying it should first be authorized by an act of the General Assembly. The office was intended to help religious groups obtain government resources for community programs.

"I know some people are fearful of it. A lot of people don't understand it," Ehrlich said at a rally on the steps of the State House. He said the amendment was added "for no particular reason" and that he hoped it would be removed by the House of Delegates.

Montgomery County Sen. Patrick Hogan, D-District 39, said the amendment is not to prevent funding for religious charities but to set parameters on how the money would be used.