Apr 2010

Down to the Wire

th of the following year (SB 1274) and receive a tax credit for the prior year. 
This new law will greatly help people who are unsure of how much taxable liability they have until they start working on their taxes.  At a time when overall contributions are declining due to the poor economy, this bill should provide much needed assistance that will enable needy children to attend the school that best fits their needs.
When the legislative session is finally over and Governor Brewer has acted on all the bills on her desk we will put out a final wrap-up.  In the meantime, we are grateful for your support and prayers on all of these matters.
The Arizona Legislature is in what appears to be the final days of the legislative session.  With the finish line in sight, we would like to thank all of the people who have taken time to write their elected officials on matters of importance to the Arizona Catholic Conference (ACC).  Your support is greatly appreciated.
The passage last week of SB 1070 was certainly a disappointment.  Your e-mails and continued advocacy, however, were greatly appreciated and actually helped to make some improvements to a problematic bill.
While the ACC is disappointed that SB 1070 was passed and signed into law, we are also grateful for some huge legislative victories that were recently won as well.
In particular, Arizona is now the first state in the nation to opt out of the federal health care plan with regard to abortion coverage in our new health care exchange.  The ACC was instrumental in making sure this amendment was drafted and adopted onto another bill that was initiated by the Center for Arizona Policy prohibiting governments from offering abortion insurance coverage to their employees (SB 1305).
More very good news also came late yesterday when Governor Brewer signed into law legislation that will allow people to make contributions to school tuition organizations until April 15

Questions and Answers on Statute of Limitations Bill

Legislation has been scheduled for a hearing in the House Judiciary Committee for Wednesday, April 28 that would amend the state’s statute of limitations on child sexual abuse. Questions and answers are provided here regarding House Bill 5699, its impact on religious and non-public institutions, and addresses the fact that the bill fails to include all sectors of society by not including government institutions. Continue reading…
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The current issue of Lansing Update

The current issue of Lansing Update has been posted to the Michigan Catholic Conference Web site at:


1.  Senate Passes Human Embryo Research Transparency Bills

Minnesota Catholic Conference Supports Impartial Judiciary

The Minnesota Catholic Conference supports legislation that would ensure an impartial judiciary for the courts of Minnesota. Representative Steve Simon has authored such a bill, H.F. 224. Chris Leifeld, Executive Director of MCC, wrote a letter in support of this bill on April 21, 2010. In his letter, Mr. Leifeld states:
Access to courts without regard to economic or social standing is necessary to safeguard freedom and human rights. Every citizen deserves, when needed, access to a fair court system and a hearing before a fair and impartial judge.
You can read the full text of the letter
To read the Joint Religious Legislative Coalition’s (JRLC) position paper on impartial judiciary,
click here.
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MCC Praises Senate for Passing Human Embryo Research Transparency Legislation

(Lansing) – The following statement was released today by Paul A. Long, Michigan Catholic Conference Vice President for Public Policy, after the State Senate passed with bipartisan support Senate Bills 647-652, legislation that seeks to ensure human embryo research is conducted with transparency and accountability in Michigan:

"While human embryo experimentation represents a direct attack on human life itself, the fact that voters approved Proposal 2 in 2008 should not prevent the Legislature from passing common sense provisions that penalize those who operate outside of the law. The passage of the 2008 ballot measure did nothing to ensure transparency or accountability in human embryo research, and may very well have opened the door for illegal research to be conducted by unscrupulous individuals seeking profit from suffering patients. Senate Bills 647-652 ensures those who conduct human embryo research in this state, either within public institutions or at private companies, are doing so in a legal and transparent manner.

"Additional provisions of the legislative package – that which call for simple reporting requirements, ensuring informed consent is obtained in IVF clinics, banning the creation of human-animal chimeric embryos, and upholding the intent of Michigan’s cloning ban by prohibiting the trafficking of cloned human embryos into the state - are common-sense measures that deserve further support. Michigan Catholic Conference applauds the Senate for its vote today, and encourages the House of Representatives to follow suit by passing Senate Bills 647-652 in a timely fashion."

Please Ask Governor Brewer to Veto SB 1070

Please Ask Governor Brewer to Veto SB 1070

Take Action!

Take Action Now!


ACTION ALERT (04/19/10)
Ask Governor Brewer to Veto SB 1070

SB 1070 is a problematic anti-immigrant bill that will soon reach Governor Brewer's desk.  While finding meaningful solutions to immigration issues is a worthwhile endeavor, SB 1070 raises many serious concerns and could have a potentially negative impact on our great state.
SB 1070 is not a legitimate solution to solving serious crimes at the border, or anywhere else, and actually may inadvertently reduce public safety.  The reason for this concern is based on testimony that occurred during legislative debate where it was noted that SB1070 may compel local police, far removed from the border, to ignore more serious crimes because of language requiring that they enforce federal immigration laws to the "full extent permitted by federal law."
Additionally, SB 1070 has been improved so that it is at least up to the police officer's discretion as to whether crime victims and witnesses will be turned over on immigration charges.  It would be much better, however, if victims and witnesses could come forward knowing for certain that they will not be deported.
If people are at all afraid to come forward and report serious crime, public safety is threatened in all of our communities. 
Finally, SB 1070 makes Arizona the first state in the nation to create its own crime for people who are merely present in the country without proper paperwork.  The status of this new crime goes from a high misdemeanor for a first offense to a felony for a second offense.
Supporters of this bill claim that the provision would be narrowly enforced so that it would allow local police to hold onto undocumented immigrants who are suspects in crimes.  The reality, however, is that the bill itself does not limit the enforcement of this provision to these situations.
This bill could make felons, not only out of dangerous criminals (as is warranted), but also the many undocumented immigrants who have come to this country at a very young age and have no familiarity with any other country but the United States.  These children may have a mother and a father one of whom is a citizen and the other of whom would now be considered a criminal.
For the reasons above, and others, please take a minute to respectfully ask Governor Brewer to vote no on SB 1070 by following the "Take Action" link and then following the very easy instructions.

Iowa Legislative Update


The 83rd session of the Iowa General Assembly concluded on March 30th. The session was shortened by about a month to save money, which meant that most of the focus was on budget -related bills and less time was spent on policy matters. As it turned out, K-12 education received a very small increase in funding and human services received smaller cuts than expected because of the use of one-time monies (such as federal stimulus appropriations or state “rainy-day” funds). Education and human services are the two biggest parts of the state budget.

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Action Alert from Minnesota

Action Alert: Act Now to Save Minnesota’s Social Safety Net
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