Bush Faith-Based Action Follows Disastrous Texas Model

Bush Faith-Based Action Follows Disastrous Texas Model

December 12, 2002

Washington, DC As President Bush turned to executive orders today to implement much of his beleaguered Faith-Based Initiative, advocates from his home state say the same approach had disastrous consequences in Texas.

In a report released earlier this year, the Texas Freedom Network Education Fund detailed the negative results of the Faith-Based Initiative developed by then-Governor George W. Bush, which has served as the model for his national Faith-Based Initiative.

The Texas Freedom Network Education Fund points out that, at both the national and state level, George W. Bush has:

· Directed key government agencies to increase contracting with faith-based social service providers;
· Diverted public funds to religious social service programs;
· Deregulated certain faith-based providers;
· Established an advisory body to shepherd his initiative through the public policy process and brainstorm ways of bolstering faith-based programs;
· Created faith-based offices or liaisons within key government agencies to review agency policies, identify perceived ‘regulatory barriers,’ and increase faith-based partnerships; and
· Promoted the Faith-Based Initiative through both legislative and regulatory means.

Among other executive orders as Texas Governor, President Bush pushed proposals to completely exempt faith-based substance abuse programs from state licensing requirements and all health, safety and quality of care standards that accompany that license.

“What was a disastrous idea in Texas is now a dangerous plan for our country,” said Samantha Smoot, Executive Director of the Texas Freedom Network Education Fund.

“The President is intent on imposing the same flawed model on the nation that has already proven to be devastating in Texas.”

Smoot asserted that, with the Bush administration pursuing largely the same model, the nation can expect the same negative results seen in Texas under the Bush Faith-Based Initiative.