CHICAGO (CBS) — Millions of taxpayer dollars may soon be used to help support church-owned schools and to rebuild churches themselves. But it won’t happen if one angry opponent succeeds. CBS2’s Mike Parker reports.
Atheist/activist Rob Sherman says simply, “We have actually been dealing with a legislative crime spree.”
Sherman says he’s picking a new fight about that.
On Thursday, the State Senate seems poised to approve a bill that would spend some $200 million on private schools across the state, as well as church-run schools and churches themselves.
One of the grants in the bill is for $500,000 for new construction on Christ the King College Prep High School on the West side of Chicago.
That has Sherman calling a “constitutional foul.”
The state constitution, “Article 10, Section 3,” he says, “says that no grant of money shall ever be made by the state to any church. There’s no wiggle room on that.”
The measure would also send a $140,000 grant to Chicago’s St. Martin DePorres Catholic Church for “general infrastructure.”
Sherman will file a lawsuit on Friday, asking a downstate court to stop such grants before the checks can be cut.
On Thursday, Sherman will testify before a legislative committee considering the bill. He thinks it’s possible the committee won’t agree with him. But he doesn’t see how any court can let this measure become law.
© MMX, CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. Interactive