Feb 2011

Support Marriage

Our bishops issued a joint statement today urging your continued advocacy in support of marriage. Read it here and contact your delegate today! http://bit.ly/fMCCTg

Maryland Catholic Conference
The Maryland Catholic Conference represents the mutual public policy interests of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, the Archdiocese of Washington and the Diocese of Wilmington.
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Kansas House Okays Two Pro-Life Measures

The Kansas House of Representatives passed two landmark Pro-Life bills today by wide margins.
HB 2035, which combines a new parental consent requirement for minors with an array of Pro-Life provisions passed and vetoed repeatedly in recent years, was approved 96-25.  The Kansas Catholic Conference previously testified in support of this legislation.
HB 2218 would prohibit abortions during and after twenty weeks, measured from conception, on the grounds that unborn children can feel pain at that time.  It was passed 91-30.  The Conference testified on this legislation as well.
Both bills will now move to the Senate.  Governor Brownback has indicated that he will sign any Pro-Life legislation that reaches his desk.
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February 22, 2011

As Bishops of the Arizona Catholic Conference (ACC), our thoughts and prayers are with all of our elected leaders during these difficult times.   It is not easy to be a public servant, and this responsibility is much more difficult when tough decisions need to be made on important public policy matters impacting people throughout the State of Arizona. 
While there are certainly a number of challenges to be faced in this year’s legislative session, we believe that these are times that call for leaders to come forward and demonstrate selfless service.
We are most grateful for all of the tremendous leadership and legislative accomplishments that have been achieved in recent years with respect to the protection of unborn human life, religious freedom, marriage, and school choice laws. We look forward to continuing advancement in each of these areas.
This year, in fulfilling our responsibility to address the moral dimensions of public policy, we are strongly advocating for several bills for the protection of unborn human life, including bills that would require a woman to be offered a chance to view an ultrasound of her unborn child before an abortion (HB 2416 and SB 1246) and bills aimed at eliminating all government-created funding for organizations performing abortions (HB 2384 and SB 1265).
We also are advocates for efforts related to marriage, including legislation (SB 1188) that would create a mere preference for married couples in matters of adoption. 
We want to help families by expanding opportunities for parents to be able to send their children to the school that best fits their needs, and therefore are endorsing legislative enhancements to both the individual and corporate tuition (scholarship) tax credit programs (HB 2581 and SB 1312) to achieve this goal.
While there has been significant positive development on the vital issues mentioned above, we have been and continue to be very concerned about legislation related to immigration and, in general, about the tone of dialogue and discourse about immigration.  We are acutely aware that there are no easy answers to the enormous immigration problems facing our country, but it is imperative that the human dignity of all be respected as our nation addresses these problems.
Of immediate concern to us is legislation that would require hospitals to check the citizenship of all their patients (SB 1405) and that would require elementary school students to provide proof of their legal status (SB 1611).  Additionally, other bills (SB 1308 and SB 1309) propose to eliminate birthright citizenship for undocumented immigrants. 
We strongly believe that these bills, if enacted, would only create more problems for innocent and vulnerable populations in Arizona while creating a distraction from meaningful immigration reform.  After all, it is only through substantive immigration reform at the federal level that these problems can be adequately addressed.
Finally, we express our concern about our State’s budget crisis – one of the worst in our nation.  Eliminating the huge deficit requires our elected officials to make difficult choices. As they face these choices, it is important for our elected officials to be vigilant on behalf of the common good and to never forget those who are the most vulnerable and who often do not have a voice during the budget process.
The job of an elected official is one that requires great sacrifice and the ability to set aside one’s own needs to focus on those of the community at large and those in most need.  We fervently pray for our leaders during these challenging times, for their families and staff, and for all who are impacted by their important decisions.

Most Rev. James S. Wall                                             Most Rev. Gerald F. Kicanas              
     Bishop of Gallup                                                          Bishop of Tucson                    

Most Rev. Thomas J. Olmsted                                                Most Rev. Eduardo A. Nevares
Bishop of Phoenix                                                       Auxiliary Bishop of Phoenix

Religious Freedom Bill Tabled

A majority of members of the House Judiciary Committee voted to indefinitely postpone further consideration of legislation today that would protect the religious liberties of Kansans.  The decision by Committee members to “table” is tantamount to a vote against the legislation.
The First Amendment freedoms that all Americans take for granted are being encroached upon, as freedom of religion is being defined down to mean freedom to worship in private and nothing more.  The Kansas Catholic Conference
testified on behalf of this important bill last week.
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Testimony of Bishop Joe Vásquez on PayDay Loan Bill

Bishop Vásquez will be providing the following testimony before the Senate Business and Commerce Committee today.
My name is Bishop Joe Vásquez. I am the Bishop of the Diocese of Austin and I am testifying today on behalf of the Texas Catholic Conference, the Roman Catholic Bishops of Texas, in support of SB 253.
In the teachings of our faith, we have many warnings about usury and the exploitation of people. Catholic Social Teaching demands respect for the dignity of persons, preferential concern for the poor and vulnerable, and the pursuit of the common good. These principles, coupled with our teaching on economic justice, lead us to question current payday and auto title lending practices.
A CSO, or Credit Services Organization, should help people clean up bad credit. Instead, the Texas law governing CSOs is being exploited as a loophole. Payday and auto title loan operators use it to charge high fees for loans that trap people in debt. By claiming that they are not lenders, they use this loophole to circumvent Texas laws that cap rates and fees for consumer loans.
Lending models should provide fair and helpful loans for families in need. The growing number of payday and auto title lenders in Texas may be doing more harm than good for persons in need of short-term cash loans. The stated purpose of payday loans is to offer a solution to families who face a short-term crisis. Instead of promoting the financial stability of consumers, however, payday lenders operating in the current system actually benefit more from their consumers' financial failure than their success. These practices are unjust and risk collapsing the stability of the family.

Support for Religious Freedom

The Kansas Catholic Conference testified Thursday on behalf of legislation that would protect the religious freedoms of individuals and institutions in Kansas.  Joining the Conference in support of the legislation was the Alliance Defense Fund.
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Hearing on Two Pro-Life Bills

On February 16, the Kansas Catholic Conference testified in the House Insurance Committee on behalf of two Pro-Life bills: HB 2292 and HB 2293.  HB 2292 would prevent insurance companies from offering abortion as a routine part of coverage, so ordinary Kansans do not have to pay for other people’s abortion with their premium dollars.  HB 2293 would prevent state employees from using their pre-tax health care flexible spending accounts for abortion services.
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To: Iowa Catholic Conference Legislative Network

 The first funnel date for bills in the Iowa Legislature is coming up on March 4. It has been moved up a week earlier than originally scheduled. Any bill that has not gotten out of committee is dead on that date, although some bills come back as amendments to other bills. Your contact with legislators will be important to help determine what bills should go forward and which should not. Watch our Action Center for further developments and alerts. Current issues include:
  • Senate File 113 – Regulation of payday loans
  • House Joint Resolution 6 – Marriage amendment
  •  House File 8 – Iowa Opportunities Workforce Act
  • House File 5 – Abortion prohibition/fetal pain
  • House File 199 – Elimination of life sentence without parole for juveniles
  • House File 192 – Protocol for medically-induced abortions

Committee Passes Fetal Pain Bill

Friday, the House Federal and States Affairs Committee passed legislation that would restrict abortions past 20 weeks based on the ability of the unborn to feel pain.  Earlier in the week, medical experts testified that the unborn feel pain at this stage.  The Kansas Catholic Conference also offered testimony, in the hope that this legislation will both protect as many unborn Kansans as is possible under existing Supreme Court abortion jurisprudence, and educate Kansans as to the humanity of the unborn.
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Legislative Updates on Real Presence Radio

Two separate updates this week: Monday, February 21 at 1:30 pm Tuesday, February 22 at 10:30 am Find your local station or listen live at: http://yourcatholicradiostation.com/
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What's Happening

Both chambers must finish working on all the bills, and vote on each of them, before next Friday.  Friday is “crossover,” when all the bills passed by one chamber move over to the other chamber. In North Dakota every bill gets a discussion and floor vote (in the Senate, every amendment also gets a separate debate and vote.) That means that legislators will spend much of next week on the floor discussing and voting on all the remaining bills.
The appropriation committees will meet during the breaks from the floor session. (Some might have the view that the floor sessions occur during the appropriation committee breaks.)  Of particular interest is SB 2012, the Department of Human Services budget.  This budget impacts the least among us and determines how well our hospitals, nursing homes, charities, and service agencies can care for those in need.  Pray for guidance for the Senate Appropriations Committee.
Although Monday is Presidents’ Day and a legal holiday for the state, the legislature will be in session.
There are three bills and one resolution still needing action from you.  Be sure to contact your legislator.  Check the NDCC site for the latest news on these measures.
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Crisis Pregnancy Funding Stronger

The Catholic News Agency recently took a look at Kansas’ Stan Clark Pregnancy Maintenance Initiative, which provides women facing challenging pregnancies with a support system, including counseling on alternatives to abortion.  Catholic Charities is the primary provider of these critically important services that help women, often low-income, choose life. Read More >>
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House Committee Acts to Regulate Sexually Oriented Businesses

Yesterday, the Kansas House Federal and State Affairs Committee passed “The Community Defense Act,” legislation that would prevent sexually oriented businesses from building within 1000 feet of churches, schools, parks, and homes.  The Kansas Catholic Conference testified in support of the legislation earlier in the week.  The debate over this bill occurs as Jefferson county contends with the case of a sexually oriented business attempting to build a facility within 1000 feet of a local school.
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Capitol Update

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Texas Weekly Update

We are very pleased that the Sonogram Bill (SB 16) passed the Senate on Thursday, February 17. Thank you to everyone who contacted your Senator to ask for his or her support. The bill will now go to the House, and we will keep you up-to-date on its progress. Also this week, Texans from across the state, including some TCC staff, participated in a legislative advocacy day as part of the Catholic Social Ministry Gathering, which advocated on behalf of
the poor and vulnerable in our nation and around the world. We'll post a news article with more information on the Gathering next week. 

Bishop Vásquez, Bishop of the Diocese of Austin, will be testifying in support of SB 253 next Tuesday, February 22. This bill closes the loophole that allows payday and auto title lenders to charge extreme interest rates which create a painful cycle of dependence that traps financially vulnerable families throughout Texas. See below for an action alert regarding this bill that contains information on how you can help support our advocacy efforts by making calls to the committee.  Next week we will also be providing testimony regarding budget cuts to the chaplaincy program. 

Please Update your Profile: We are again asking that you please submit your House and Senate district information to us by email or by updating your profile. If you don't know that information, you can look it up online here. Alternatively, you may also provide your address to us via email or update your address in your profile. Providing this information is valuable to you, because we can customize your email alerts to include your legislators' names and contact information. It is also helpful for us because we often need to target specific legislators, and this information lets us know if you are a constituent of these legislators. Thank you to everyone who has provided us with this information.

Action Alert: Support Fair Lending Practices

The payday and auto title loan business model is designed to trap people in debt. More than 75% of payday loans are taken out within 2 weeks of the previous loan in order to fill the financial gap caused by the loan itself. Regulatory standards are already in place for these lenders, but payday and auto title loan operators take advantage of a loophole in Texas law to avoid that regulation.  
SB 253 is a bill that the Texas Catholic Conference supports because it closes the loophole that allows payday and auto title lenders to operate without following the regulations outlined in Chapter 342 of the Finance Code. It will be heard in the Senate Business and Commerce committee hearing on Feb. 22 at 8:00 a.m. Bishop Vásquez, Bishop of the Diocese of Austin, will be testifying on this bill in committee. Calls of support  to committee members are critical.   

Click here to see all TCC action alerts.
Sonogram Bill Passed by the Senate


 This was the last week for bills to have committee hearings in their house of origin. Consequently, problematic legislation proposing to curtail rights of conscience for health care providers, eliminate tuition tax credits, and facilitate assisted suicide all did not receive hearings and can pretty much be deemed dead at this point in time.
The only committees exempted from this week’s deadlines are the Appropriations Committees which get a one week extension. This fact is important because the Senate Appropriations Committee is scheduled to hear legislation next week to deny birthright citizenship to undocumented immigrants (SB 1308 and SB 1309) as well as a proposal (SB 1405) to compel hospitals to check the immigration status of all their patients and turn over to federal authorities those who do not prove their lawful presence.   All of these bills were opposed by the Arizona Catholic Conference (ACC) and failed to pass in their original committee.
While the ACC has had a great deal of success so far in blocking the passage of problematic bills, we also continued to move forward this week on a number of positive pieces of legislation as well.
With respect to pro-life issues, legislation to deny tax credits for donations to nonprofit organizations performing or referring for abortions (HB 2384) was approved by the House Health Committee on Wednesday. An identical bill (SB 1265), meanwhile, is moving through the Senate and should be ready for a floor vote in the near future.
Similarly, positive school choice legislation also advanced this week when the House Ways and Means Committee on Monday approved legislation (HB 2581) to increase the maximum allowable individual tuition tax credit for single people to $750 and for married people to $1,500. This bill, along with its counterpart (SB 1312), would also expand the potential donor pool for the corporate tuition tax credit and greatly help Catholic schools in other ways as well.

Archbishop Issues Statements on Unions and Rights of Workers

Right of Workers Statement Feb 16, 2011

Right a wrong: Support Colorado ASSET

By Jennifer Kraska   Immigration is a tricky issue no matter how you look at it. It invokes very strong emotions in people like very few issues do....
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Capitol Report Newsletter

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Make your voice heard in Annapolis

Make your voice heard in Annapolis at Catholic Lobby Night on Feb. 21! Meet your legislators. Talk about the issues. Pass this on! REGISTRATION REQUIRED. RSVP & info: http://www.mdcathcon.org/lobbynight

Maryland Catholic Conference
The Maryland Catholic Conference represents the mutual public policy interests of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, the Archdiocese of Washington and the Diocese of Wilmington.
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New from Iowa

To: Iowa Catholic Conference Legislative Network
I would like to thank our bishops, board and committee members who participated in our Legislative Breakfast last Wednesday. There was substantial discussion on a variety of issues with legislators. You can take a look at some photos from the event on the Facebook page of the Diocese of Des Moines. The homily delivered by Des Moines Bishop Richard Pates for our Legislative Mass on Tuesday is available on our website at www.iowacatholicconference.org.

Kansas Catholic Conference Testifies on Behalf of Crisis Pregnancy Program

Thursday, the Kansas Catholic Conference testified on behalf of the Stan Clark Pregnancy Maintenance Initiative, which provides women facing challenging pregnancies with a support system, including counseling on alternatives to abortion.  Catholic Charities is the primary provider of these critically important services that help women, often low-income, choose life.  The program has come under attack from past governors but has the current governor’s support.
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Statement from the North Dakota Catholic Conference on Passage of Pro-life Bills

Christopher Dodson, Executive Director of the North Dakota Catholic Conference issued the following statement on today’s passage of two pro-life bills in the North Dakota House of Representatives:
The North Dakota Catholic Conference applauds the state House of Representatives for overwhelmingly passing two pro-life pieces of legislation.  By a vote of 68 to 25 the House passed both House Bill 1297 and House Bill 1450.
House Bill 1297 is the Abortion Enforcement Enhancement Act. It updates, strengthens, and clarifies existing laws restricting abortion and protecting a woman’s right to know.
House Bill 1450 is the Defense of Human Life Act. It provides legal protection to human embryos created through in vitro fertilization.  Contrary to some claims, it would not ban in vitro fertilization or contraception.
These two bills put North Dakota in a stronger position to progressively protect all human life and the well-being of women facing unexpected pregnancies.  The North Dakota Catholic Conference urges the state Senate pass both bills.
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House Committee Approves Session’s 1st Pro-Life Bil

The House Federal & State Affairs Committee on Thursday approved HB 2035, legislation that would put into law many of the previously passed Pro-Life bills that have been vetoed by previous governors.  It will also require minors to obtain parental consent before having an abortion.
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Lansing Update

Legislation to Eliminate Tax Credit for Working Poor Introduced; Advocacy Priorities Released for 2011-12 Legislative Session; Pro-Life Bills Introduced in New Legislative Session; Governor Snyder to Present Executive Budget Proposal Next Week. Continue reading…

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Catholic Charities of California Responds to Governor's Budget

by Shannon Lahey, Executive Director
Catholic Charities of California United
As the Executive Director of Catholic Charities of California United, I represent the 12 Catholic Charities agencies that respond to the needs of over one million California residents living in poverty.. It is with gratitude to the generosity of countless Catholic donors that we have carried out our mandate of compassionate service for over one hundred years.
In Deuteronomy, the chosen people are told that they will be given a promised land that will be richly blessed and they are instructed, “If there is a poor man among your brothers, do not be hardhearted or tightfisted. Rather, be open handed and freely give him what he needs.” (Deut 15: 7-8).
California has been a symbolic promised land for millions who came to the state seeking gold, farming jobs, a better life for their children, and freedom from oppression in many parts of the world. As I write this, our Golden State is in an economic crisis and facing historic budget cuts that will disproportionately impact the very people we serve at Catholic Charities.
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Access to Ultrasound

Testimony in Support of SB 16

Good morning Mr. Chairman and members, my name is Andrew Rivas and I am the executive director of the Texas Catholic Conference. The TCC is the statewide association of the 15 Roman Catholic dioceses in our state and it is our responsibility to advocate for the public policy positions of all the Bishops of Texas.
First, let me begin by thanking you Mr. Chairman, and the committee, for allowing me to testify today on Senate Bill 16. As many of you are aware, the Catholic Church teaches that life is a precious gift given to all of us from our Creator. It is a gift that should be nurtured and protected at all stages.  It is a sad fact that in our society, innocent human life is threatened at its very earliest stage through the widespread use of abortion, which murdered the lives of 80,000 children in Texas in 2008, the most recent year that data is available. This is more than the total population of the city of College Station. 3,000 of these abortions were performed on minors. Laws must be in place that protect the life of the unborn child, and that educate mothers who may not realize that the life in their womb is exactly that – a unique, irreplaceable human life – not a soulless glob of tissues or something akin to a malignant tumor.
The Texas Catholic Conference supports SB 16 as an approach to help reduce abortion rates in Texas by giving mothers access to their ultrasound images, with the hope that these images will help mothers realize the humanity of their unborn children and choose life. SB 16 would require a physician, or the physician’s agent, to provide printed material for a woman to review at least twenty four hours before an abortion can be performed. The bill would also require the physician performing the abortion to review a mother’s ultrasound with her at least two hours prior to her having an abortion. The mother is not required to view the ultrasound.
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Preserve EITC

In order to continue moving low-income workers out of poverty, to encourage work and to address the high number of poor children living in this state, Michigan Catholic Conference looks forward to working with members on both sides of the aisle to preserve and protect the state Earned Income Tax Credit. Continue reading…

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Fairness Needed for Catholic Schools

Read how North Dakota’s Catholic schools are among the most regulated in the nation and how one bill could provide some justified relief.
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Conference Testifies in Support of Religious Liberty for Orthodox Patriarch

The Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople is the spiritual leader of millions of Orthodox faithful worldwide.  As a “first among equals” his role and ability to function has international consequences.  The Turkish government, however, has severely limited the patriarch’s religious freedom, by seizing property, closing seminaries, and restricting who may succeed the patriarch.  Since religious liberty is fundamental and Turkey’s actions eventually impact the Orthodox faithful in North Dakota, the North Dakota Catholic Conference supports a resolution calling on Turkey to grant the patriarch basic religious liberty.  The resolution is SCR 4014.
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Ask your state delegate to cosponsor the BOAST Tax Credit

Ask your state delegate to cosponsor the BOAST Tax Credit and support our schools and students through scholarships, grants and enrichment programs. Send a quick and easy email at http://capwiz.com/mdcath/issues/alert/?alertid=25840661

Maryland Catholic Conference - Maryland Government
Information on Maryland's government.
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Cuomo's budget unfair to Catholic schools

Click the link below to tell your legislators to treat Catholic schools fairly in the state budget. It just takes a minute. Support Catholic education. Take action now!

New York State Catholic Conference - The Official Public Policy Voice of the Catholic Conference of.
Cuomo's budget unfair to Catholic schools
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Weekly Legislative Update

The Senate Finance committee has started hearing testimony on Senate Bill 1, the General Appropriations Bill, and specifically, Article II, which covers Health and Human Services. TCC Executive Director Andrew Rivas and Associate Director Jennifer Allmon delivered testimony on the concerns of the Texas Bishops. You may read the text of their testimonies
here. You may read our policy paper on the revenue shortfall here, and you can also view a video resource on the budget here. We will also post testimony on other articles in the bill as it is available. 
Weekly Legislative Update

Ultrasound Action Alert: Senate Bill 16, an Access-to-Ultrasound bill, will be heard in the Senate State Affairs committee next Wednesday, February 9, 2011. Please contact the Senators on the Committee and ask them to support the bill. You can find the Senators' contact information and a sample message below.



Capitol Phone

Bob Deuell

(512) 463-0102
Robert Duncan
(512) 463-0128
Rodney Ellis
(512) 463-0113
Troy Fraser
(512) 463-0124
Joan Huffman
(512) 463-0117
Mike Jackson
(512) 463-0111
Eddie Lucio
(512) 463-0127
Leticia Van de Putte
(512) 463-0126
Tommy Williams
(512) 463-0104

"Hello, I am a Catholic in  City , Texas and as a constituent I ask that you support Senate Bill 16, which will be heard in the State Affairs committee on Wednesday, February 9. This legislation would require a physician to review a woman's ultrasound with her prior to her having an abortion. The woman is not required to view the ultrasound. I support this bill because it provides the mother with more information about her unborn child and may help the mother realize the humanity of her unborn child and choose life. Thank you for your time. For more information you can contact the Texas Catholic Conference at 512-339-9882."

WCC Policy Positions Bring a Nonpartisan Vision of Hope to Legislative Debates

Eye on the Capitol
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What do we want…school choice! When do we want it…now!”

“What do we want…school choice! When do we want it…now!”
Hundreds of students and their parents filed into the state Capitol Rotunda last month for a rally to cheer for Senate Bill 1 – the Opportunity Scholarship Act. SB 1 proposes a significant increase to the Education Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) program. If passed, the EITC will increase to $100 million making more scholarships available to qualified students. It also proposes vouchers for the poorest students in chronically failing schools. Parents can use the voucher to pay tuition at any school they choose, including a Catholic school if they wish.
It is not hard to see why students and their parents are cheering for this bill. The Opportunity Scholarship Act includes scholarships for both public-to-public and public-to-private school choice. Qualified families could access a number of educational options, giving them the opportunity to choose a school that best meets the needs of their child.
By virtue of their zip code, many families have no choice but to send their child to the school in their neighborhood, even if that school is failing. Most do not have the economic means to relocate to another district or pay tuition somewhere else. Parents in these areas who desire something better for their children are the loudest cheerleaders for SB 1.
The Catholic school community is also cheering the Opportunity Scholarship proposal. Because of constraints on the state budget, the voucher program starts small. In the first year, only low-income students currently attending a failing public school qualify. Eligibility will be expanded in the second and third years. Eventually every low-income student will be eligible. The increase in the EITC program will grant more scholarships to qualified families who are not included in the voucher program right away.
Not every qualified student will choose a Catholic school, but it is likely that many will. Catholic educators can already attest how the EITC has helped Catholic schools; SB 1 will allow even more families a chance to get a Catholic education. More students in our classrooms is good news for our schools; more students will help keep Catholic schools open.
Citizens who care about Pennsylvania’s future are cheering, too. Not everyone is the parent of a school-aged child but most of us are taxpayers. School choice saves tax dollars because non-public schools often provide an excellent education for a fraction of the cost of public schools. Every child in Pennsylvania is entitled to an education. If we can redirect a portion of the state subsidy to provide the same child an education in a less costly program, isn’t it worth considering? Nonpublic schools should be included, not excluded, from the plan to create a more effective educational system.
A good education helps children grow up to be good citizens. Growing as many good citizens as we can will help ensure a better and brighter future for all of us.
Add your voice to the school choice cheerleading squad. Visit, call, write or e-mail your state legislators and ask them to support the Opportunity Scholarship Act – SB 1. Join the
Advocates for Catholic Education in PA to receive the latest news and action alerts on Catholic education issues. Learn more at www.pacatholic.org/current-issues/school-choice
February 2011 PCC Column by A.B. Hill, Communications Director of the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference – the public affairs arm of Pennsylvania’s Catholic bishops and the Catholic dioceses of Pennsylvania.

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Archbishop Gomez Testifies on Worksite Enforcement before US House

Coadjutor Archbishop of Los Angeles, California
Chair, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Migration on
ICE Worksite Enforcement

The House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration Policy and Enforcement

January 26, 2011 -- I am José Gomez, Coadjutor Archbishop of Los Angeles and Chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB or the Conference) Committee on Migration.  I testify before you today on behalf of the USCCB Committee on Migration.
Before I begin, I would like to thank Subcommittee Chairman Elton Gallegly (R-CA) and Ranking Member Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) for permitting me to submit testimony before the Subcommittee on this important matter.   
My testimony before the Subcommittee will outline the Conference’s position on workplace enforcement of immigration laws, which includes our recommendation that Congress:  
  • Prioritize and pursue comprehensive immigration reform in lieu of enforcement-only measures to address the issues of unauthorized immigration in the United States; and
  • De-emphasize the use of workplace raids – in which immigrants are detained and families are separated – as a measure to enforce immigration laws in the U.S. workplace.
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Medicaid reform for New York from a Catholic perspective.

Statement of Core Principles Regarding Medicaid Reform
The New York State Catholic Conference offers a statement of principles for redesigning and reforming the Medicaid system in New York State.
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Preserve EITC

In The Detroit News, MCC President and CEO Paul A. Long states that preserving the state Earned Income Tax Credit will help to improve Michigan's economic picture by continuing to lift low-income families and children out of poverty. Continue reading…

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