Miami-Dade Legislative Item
File Number: 053024
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File Number: 053024 File Type: Resolution Status: Adopted
Version: 0 Reference: R-1362-05 Control: County Commission
File Name: DEFEAT LEGISLATION ALLOWING DISCRIMINATION BASED ON RELIGION Introduced: 10/31/2005
Requester: NONE Cost: Final Action: 12/6/2005
Agenda Date: 12/6/2005 Agenda Item Number: 11A15
Notes: Title: RESOLUTION URGING CONGRESS TO DEFEAT LEGISLATION ALLOWING RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATIONS AND CHURCHES TO DISCRIMINATE ON THE BASIS OF RELIGION WHEN HIRING OR FIRING STAFF FOR POSITIONS WITHIN THE FEDERAL HEAD START PROGRAM
Indexes: DISCRIMINATION
  HEADSTART PROJECT
Sponsors: Katy Sorenson, Prime Sponsor
  Dr. Barbara Carey-Shuler, Co-Sponsor
  Sally A. Heyman, Co-Sponsor
  Barbara J. Jordan, Co-Sponsor
  Dennis C. Moss, Co-Sponsor
  Dorrin D. Rolle, Co-Sponsor
Sunset Provision: No Effective Date: Expiration Date:
Registered Lobbyist: None Listed


Legislative History

Acting Body Date Agenda Item Action Sent To Due Date Returned Pass/Fail

Board of County Commissioners 12/6/2005 11A15 Adopted P

Intergov., Recreation & Cultural Affairs Cmte. 11/9/2005 2I Forwarded with a favorable recommendation P
REPORT: Assistant County Attorney Maldonado read the foregoing proposed resolution into the record. Chairwoman Heyman and Commissioners Jordan and Moss asked to be added as co-sponsors of the foregoing proposed resolution. In response to Commissioner Seijas’ inquiry regarding current legislation governing this program, Assistant County Attorney Jess McCarty advised that Congress was now considering amendments to the legislation governing hiring within the Headstart Program that would allow religious organizations to discriminate on the basis of religion. He explained that the foregoing proposed resolution was intended to prevent such discrimination.

County Attorney 10/31/2005 Assigned Intergov., Recreation & Cultural Affairs Cmte. 11/9/2005

County Attorney 10/31/2005 Assigned Jess M. McCarty

Legislative Text


TITLE
RESOLUTION URGING CONGRESS TO DEFEAT LEGISLATION ALLOWING RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATIONS AND CHURCHES TO DISCRIMINATE ON THE BASIS OF RELIGION WHEN HIRING OR FIRING STAFF FOR POSITIONS WITHIN THE FEDERAL HEAD START PROGRAM

BODY
WHEREAS, Head Start is an early education program established in 1965; and
WHEREAS, the program has been a ladder out of poverty for many disadvantaged parents who have become employed as teachers and staff after having first served as volunteer teacher aides in their children's classroom; and
WHEREAS, Head Start has helped millions of disadvantaged children by providing access to quality preschool education programs; and
WHEREAS, since 1972, agencies that receive government funding for Head Start, including religious organizations and houses of worship that host Head Start programs, have been prohibited from discriminating on the basis of religious when hiring or firing staff for positions within this federally-funded program; and
WHEREAS, an amendment is being considered in Congress that would repeal existing, longstanding Head Start provisions which prohibit religious organizations and churches from discriminating on the basis of religion when hiring or firing staff for positions within this federally-funded program; and
WHEREAS, this amendment is in conflict with the First Amendment's prohibitions against the use of direct government funding to promote religious beliefs; and
WHEREAS, if Congress approves such an amendment, teachers and staff working at Head Start programs housed in religious organizations could immediately be fired because of their religion; and
WHEREAS, the amendment to permit religious discrimination in hiring and firing for faith-based Head Start programs is divisive, unwise, unnecessary, and unconstitutional,
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA, that this Board:
Section 1. Urges the United States Congress defeat legislation that would allow religious organizations and churches to discriminate on the basis of religion when hiring or firing staff for positions within the federal Head Start program.
Section 2. The Clerk of the Board is directed to transmit a certified copy of this resolution to the members of the Miami-Dade County Congressional Legislative Delegation.
Section 3. This Board directs the County's federal lobbyists to advocate against the passage of the legislation set forth in Section 1 above, and directs the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs to include this item in the 2006 Federal Legislative Package.



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