Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Battle Over Charitable Choice Language Looming In Senate

Today's Washington Times reports that a behind-the-scenes battle is shaping up over the charitable choice provisions in the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Act. Groups that are part of the Coalition Against Religious Discrimination want language removed that allows religious groups receiving funds under the Act to limit their hiring to members of their own faith. A coalition of religious groups is attempting to have the language retained in the reauthorization so they can continue to favor members of their own faith when hiring for federally-funded substance abuse programs. (SAMHSA Charitable Choice Regulations.) The charitable choice language was first placed in SAMHSA near the end of the Clinton administration. Some say that removing the language from SAMHSA would be a first step toward eliminating similar provisions from various other federal programs as well.