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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Judge tosses Amendment 7 off Florida ballot



Florida Circuit Court Judge Terry Lewis has thrown off the 2012 ballot an amendment that would have ended the state's Blaine amendment, which bars "state aid" to religious organizations. Lewis found the ballot summary by the Legislature misleading.

The judge also upheld a new law, though, that will allow attorney general Pam Bondi to rewrite the summary for another review.

The Florida Education Association challenged the amendment along with several religious leaders. One of the arguments was that eliminating the strict separation of funds would make it easier to fund private, parochial school vouchers.

"We applaud the judge’s decision. Amendment 7 would have required taxpayers to fund a broad array of religious programs and institutions," FEA president Andy Ford said in a statement. "The judge agreed that taxpayers and voters need to be told the truth and that the purpose and effect of the amendment was not clear in the ballot summary and was misleading to voters."

-Jeff Solochek, The Gradebook

[Last modified: Wednesday, December 14, 2011 1:41pm]


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