Public Contracts for Social Services

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TCA § 12-3-308 (formerly § 12-4-122) provides that state and local governments shall contract for goods and services provided through the state departments of Human Services, Children’s Services, and Health without discrimination against religious organizations and shall contract with religious organizations on the same basis as any other non-governmental providers without impairing the religious character of the organizations. All programs must be implemented consistent with the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. Any religious organization that contracts with the state or local government shall retain its independence from the government and that the government cannot require the organization to alter its form of governance or remove religious art, icons, scripture or other symbols. See Op. Tenn. Att’y Gen. 04-067 (April 20, 2004).