SJC: NO BLANKET BAN, BUT PUBLIC $$$ FOR CHURCH NEEDS SCRUTINY
By Andy Metzger
STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE
STATE HOUSE, BOSTON, MARCH 12, 2018.....While it put a temporary hold on public dollars the town of Acton wants to spend on an historic church, the Supreme Judicial Court has ruled there is no blanket ban on public funding for religious institutions.
The decision handed down on Friday stems from the town's use of Community Preservation Act money to fund a master plan and stained glass restoration at Acton Congregational Church. Historic preservation is among the authorized uses of Community Preservation Act funds in communities that adopt the law.
The decision delves into the centuries-old history of Massachusetts previously supporting the Congregational Church and the state's subsequent constitutional restriction on public funds for religious institutions.
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