Arizona: Religious Liberty Bill Ready for Governor

There was much good news this week as the Arizona Senate voted yesterday 19-9 to approve important religious liberty legislation (HB 2625). This legislation was initiated by the Arizona Catholic Conference (ACC) so that religiously affiliated employers are not forced by the government to provide coverage for abortifacients and contraceptives if doing so violates their faith.

To find a complete list of how your senator voted use this link: http://www.azleg.gov//FormatDocument.asp?inDoc=/legtext/50leg/2r/bills/hb2625.sfinal.1.asp&Session_ID=107

HB 2625 next goes to the desk of Governor Brewer. If you have not done so already, please take a moment and respond to the Action Alert sent out yesterday.   The Action Alert can be found at www.azcatholicconference.org.

In addition to the great news about religious liberty, the Senate also this week approved an important bill (HB 2800) essentially cutting off federal funds to abortion providers. The next step for HB 2800 will be for the Governor to take action.

We are grateful for all that has been accomplished this year. Please keep an eye out for additional updates and alerts that will be sent as news happens.

Arizona: Governor Brewer Signs Bill to Ban Abortions after 20 Weeks

A great pro-life victory was achieved when Governor Jan Brewer signed HB 2036 into law today. HB 2036 will ban abortions after 20 weeks and also makes sure that women seeking an abortion must have an ultrasound done 24 hours in advance.

The Arizona Catholic Conference (ACC) is appreciative of the many people who made this bill a reality including Governor Brewer for signing the bill and Representative Kimberly Yee for being the sponsor. The ACC is also grateful to the Center for Arizona Policy for their leadership on this monumental bill as well as to all of the people who responded to our earlier Action Alert on this bill.

There are still a few very important issues remaining, but HB 2625 remains at the top of this list. In this regard, there was extremely good news today when the Senate voted on reconsideration to pass this bill by a 17-13 vote.

As you will remember, HB 2625 creates a better exemption for religious employers who do not want to be compelled by the government to provide abortifacients and contraceptives in their health plans. While the vote today removes a big hurdle, the bill still must face one more vote in both the House and Senate before going to the Governor.

In the meantime, if you have not already done so, please use our Action Alert which can be found at www.azcatholicconference.org. Your prayers are also always appreciated.

 

 

Arizona: Governor Brewer Signs Tuition Tax Credit Expansion!!!

Governor Brewer Signs Tuition Tax Credit Expansion!!!
 
The Arizona Catholic Conference (ACC) is extremely pleased that today Governor Jan Brewer signed into law important legislation (SB 1047) that will essentially double the amount people can contribute in the tuition (scholarship) tax credit program.
Specifically, SB 1047 expands the current tuition tax credit limits of $500 for individuals and $1,000 for married couples to $1,000 and $2,000 respectively.
The new donations are targeted toward students switching from public to private schools.
SB 1047 is designed this way to not only help many more children, but also to save the state money as the average tax credit scholarship is far less than the cost it would be to educate them in public school.
The ACC is grateful to all of the legislators who voted for this important bill, especially Senator Rick Murphy who was the bill’s sponsor. We are also very appreciative of all the grassroots support and prayer we received in response to our legislative updates and action alerts on this bill.
Please take a moment to personally thank Governor Brewer for signing this bill and supporting school choice expansion in Arizona by sending a note on her website http://www.azgovernor.gov/Contact.aspor by calling 602 542-4331.

Arizona: Legislative Update

ARIZONA CATHOLIC CONFERENCE
Legislative Update (02/10/12)
 
School Choice Expansion Moves Forward
 
Next week is scheduled to be the final week for bills to receive committee hearings in their house of origin. Any bills that have not been approved by their assigned committees at that time will essentially be presumed dead. Accordingly, long committee hearings are expected in order to keep bills moving.
One bill that is farther along than most is the proposed expansion of the individual tuition (scholarship) tax credit program. This bill (SB 1047) would essentially double the existing credit’s limits for both single people and married couples with the new donations going to those “switching” from public to private school.
SB 1047 has already cleared the Senate and was approved earlier this week by the House Ways and Means Committee. It is expected that SB 1047 may reach the House floor as early as next week.
In addition to the movement on school choice legislation this week, the House Military Affairs and Public Safety Committee approved an important measure (HB 2674) allowing the Arizona Department of Public Safety to continue performing background checks for the volunteers and staff at schools, churches, and any nonprofit organization serving children.
Furthermore, a timely bill (SB 1365) relating to the rights of conscience of various professionals licensed by the State of Arizona was approved by the Senate Government Committee this week. Similarly, the Senate Health Committee passed common sense legislation (SB 1359) that would prohibit parents from suing doctors for the wrongful birth of their child.

Arizona: Legislative Update

ARIZONA CATHOLIC CONFERENCE
LEGISLATIVE UPDATE (01/13/12)
 
Happy New Year!
 
The 2012 legislative session began on Monday, January 9th. While most of the Legislature remains the same, there are some important changes including a new Senate President in Steve Pierce and a new House Speaker in Andy Tobin. The Arizona Catholic Conference wishes both men nothing but the best as they begin their first regular session in their new roles.
At the end of the first week of session, the best news pertains to possible school choice expansion. Specifically, the Senate Finance Committee approved legislation (SB 1047) yesterday to expand the existing tuition tax credit by an extra $500 for individuals and $1,000 for married couples. In order to guarantee savings to the state, the new money would exclusively be used for those elementary and high school students “switching” into private schools.
The Arizona Catholic Conference supports this legislation and will update you on its progress through the legislative session. Similarly, we will also provide updates on all other matters of interest to the Catholic Church through these weekly e-mails, so please be sure that you and your friends are signed up at www.azcatholicconference.org.