Tom Chapman's News Updates (63)

Iowa Catholic Conference Newsletter - Jan. 23, 2015

This week is Catholic Schools Week and the Iowa bishops have released a statement in support of Education Savings Accounts. ESAs would allow parents who choose not to enroll their children in a public school to receive a deposit of public funds into a savings account set up by the state. The money could be used for nonpublic school tuition.

“This innovative idea would further level the playing…

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Added by Tom Chapman on January 23, 2015 at 4:24pm — No Comments

First week of the legislative session, Iowa Catholic Conference

The first day of the Iowa legislative session this week offered an opportunity for legislative leaders to talk about their expectations for the session. You can find the highlights on our Facebook page.

Legislators began introducing bills this week. Many have little chance of advancement. As bills start to move we’ll let you know about our priority items.

Iowa is one of only seven states with a “split legislature.”…

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Added by Tom Chapman on January 16, 2015 at 12:50pm — No Comments

Legislative Session Preview - Iowa Catholic Conference 01-09-2015

The 86th General Assembly of the Iowa legislature begins this Monday, Jan. 12. Little legislative work typically gets done the first week other than the usual ceremonies and organizational meetings of committees. During the first day legislative leaders address the chambers to talk about their plans for the session. 

Also coming up next week is Governor Branstad’s “Condition of the State” speech to the legislature on Tuesday and Chief Justice Cady’s “State of the Judiciary” address on…

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Added by Tom Chapman on January 9, 2015 at 1:30pm — No Comments

Listen to Catholic radio and sign up today for Midwest March for Life, Iowa Institute for Social Action

The staff of the Iowa Catholic Conference is looking forward to being a part of two events later this month to help Catholics inform their consciences and support the life and dignity of the human person. We hope you can join us!

For updates on the events, you can listen in to Iowa Catholic Radio at www.iowacatholicradio.com this Friday, Jan. 9 v. I’m scheduled to be part of the 7:15 a.m. news segment to discuss the upcoming Midwest March…

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Added by Tom Chapman on January 6, 2015 at 12:03pm — 1 Comment

Iowa Catholic Conference newsletter - sign up for March for Life and Iowa Institute for Social Action

As we head toward Christmas, our staff is making preparations for several events in January: the start of the legislative session on Jan. 12, the Midwest March for Life on Jan. 17, and the Iowa Institute for Social Action on Jan. 18-19.

We are working with supporters in the legislature to prepare an Education Savings Accounts (ESA) proposal. ESAs would allow parents who choose not to enroll their child in a public school to receive a deposit of public funds into a savings…

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Added by Tom Chapman on December 18, 2014 at 9:54am — No Comments

2014 Iowa Election Recap

To: Iowa Catholic Conference Legislative Network

The status quo has prevailed at the state legislature in Iowa. The Democrats retained a 26-24 majority in the Iowa Senate, while the House Republicans picked up a few seats to increase their majority to 57-43. Gov. Terry Branstad (R) was re-elected. At the federal level, Republicans are in control of the House and Senate.

As for the Iowa Catholic Conference, our focus will continue to be on applying Catholic social teaching to…

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Added by Tom Chapman on November 5, 2014 at 1:00pm — No Comments

Advice on voting: be guided by your moral convictions

"You must be guided by your moral convictions, not your self-interest or your attachment to a political party or interest group."

Faithful Citizenship for Iowa Catholics, 2014

To: Iowa Catholic Conference legislative network:

If you’re watching any TV these days, you know that Election Day is drawing near. The Iowa Catholic Conference…

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Added by Tom Chapman on October 31, 2014 at 10:25am — No Comments

Iowa Catholic Conference - asking for your help

To: Iowa Catholic Conference legislative network

Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t make a difference in the political arena. Especially when your contacts with legislators are combined with those of your friends and neighbors, I have seen many instances where you have had a real impact. Keep your head up looking for opportunities to help, and your head down in prayer!

Right now we’re asking for your help with three items:

1. We are asking for contacts to Congress…

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Added by Tom Chapman on October 17, 2014 at 10:27am — No Comments

Send a message in support of the Second Chance Act - Iowa Catholic Conference Newsletter, Sept. 12, 2014

ALERT – TAKE ACTION TODAY

The U.S. Catholic bishops and Catholic Charities USA have sent an action alert in support of the Second Chance Act. Please send a message to your Senators and Representatives as the bill is starting to move in Congress.

This bill funds many programs that provide crucial employment assistance, substance abuse treatment, housing, mentoring, and other services…

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Added by Tom Chapman on September 12, 2014 at 11:06am — No Comments

Iowa bishops release :Faithful Citizenship for Iowa Catholics" document

From: Tom Chapman, Iowa Catholic Conference

The Iowa Catholic Conference has released its “Faithful Citizenship for Iowa Catholics” statement in advance of the 2014 mid-term elections. The document, signed by the diocesan bishops of Iowa, includes a list of questions that all are encouraged to ask of candidates for office.

“A fundamental test of the morality of public policy is whether it supports or threatens human life and the common good,” the statement reads. “We reject the…

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Added by Tom Chapman on September 3, 2014 at 8:45am — No Comments

Iowa Catholic Conference Newsletter, Aug. 8, 2014

One of the main goals of the Iowa Catholic Conference is to help inform your conscience and encourage involvement in the political process, particularly on issues at the state legislature. To that end, next month we’ll be releasing the latest version of our “Faithful Citizenship for Iowa Catholics” document. However, recent events on the national and international scene are worthy of your immediate prayer and attention.

The situation is grave for many Christians and other minority…

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Added by Tom Chapman on August 8, 2014 at 9:35am — No Comments

Iowa Catholic Conference - Supreme Court rules on religious liberty, July 3, 2014

SUPREME COURT RULES ON RELIGIOUS FREEDOM

We hope you have a great Fourth of July holiday! This week began with a positive decision of the U.S. Supreme Court. The Court ruled that closely-held family corporations will not be required to provide insurance coverage for certain drugs. The Hobby Lobby stores had a religious objection to paying for drugs which may cause abortions.

The Court said the government failed to show that the mandate is the least restrictive means of…

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Added by Tom Chapman on July 3, 2014 at 1:36pm — No Comments

Iowa Catholic Conference Newsletter, bishops release statement on humanitarian situation

The Iowa bishops have released a statement on the humanitarian issue on the southern border of the United States.

It reads, in part: “We appreciate government officials for responding as best they can to this crisis and ask them to make sure that legal services are available to unaccompanied children. Children without family in the U.S. are at risk of being sent back to an unsafe situation. The best interests of these children should be a priority.”…

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Added by Tom Chapman on June 26, 2014 at 10:41am — No Comments

Iowa Catholic Conference update - tomorrow's Call-in Day to Congress on immigration reform

TOMORROW IS NATIONAL CALL-IN DAY FOR IMMIGRATION REFORM

Tomorrow, May 29, is a national “call-in day” to Congress in support of immigration reform. To participate, dial this toll-free number, 1-855-589-5698, to be automatically connected to your U.S. House Member and ask them to:

  • Vote for immigration reform,
  • Support a path to citizenship,
  • Preserve family unity, and
  • Employ safe and humane immigration enforcement practices.

It’s…

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Added by Tom Chapman on May 28, 2014 at 2:22pm — No Comments

Iowa Catholic Conference: legislative session concludes

To: Iowa Catholic Conference Legislative Network 

The Iowa House adjourned at about 6 a.m. on Thursday morning after an all-night session. The Senate finished with budget bills early on Thursday, but, before adjourning on Friday, passed a resolution giving the Senate Government Oversight Committee subpoena power to investigate "secret settlements" in state government.

During the last day or so of the session, we were part of discussions regarding an amendment to the “standings”…

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Added by Tom Chapman on May 4, 2014 at 1:56pm — No Comments

Iowa Catholic Conference Newsletter, April 27, 2014

To: Iowa Catholic Conference Legislative Network

It looks like the legislative session will conclude in the next few days. In the meantime there are still several issues of interest being discussed.

You are encouraged to contact your Senator in support of House File 2468, which would provide a $2,500 state tax credit for parents with adoption expenses. The bill passed the Senate Ways and Means Committee last week and is…

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Added by Tom Chapman on April 27, 2014 at 6:02pm — No Comments

Iowa Catholic Conference Newsletter, April 20, 2014

To: Iowa Catholic Conference Legislative Network

TAKE ACTION NOW

There’s still time to encourage legislators to help parents with adoption expenses. Last week the Iowa House passed House File 2468 by a vote of 95-1. The bill provides a refundable tax credit of $2,500 for adoptions. It will help make adoptions more affordable for parents, as agency fees can start at $12,000 and go up from there. The credit would also assist birth mothers because adoption agencies and…

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Added by Tom Chapman on April 20, 2014 at 6:59pm — No Comments

Iowa Catholic Conference Newsletter, April 13, 2014

To: Iowa Catholic Conference Legislative Network

As the legislative session enters its final weeks the Iowa Catholic Conference is engaged on several issues.

Good news: the bill tweaking Iowa’s law against human trafficking is headed to the governor for his signature. Last Tuesday the House accepted the Senate's changes to Senate File 2311. The bill creates a fund for victims and allows county attorneys to refer prostitutes who are juveniles to the Department of Human…

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Added by Tom Chapman on April 13, 2014 at 4:43pm — No Comments

Iowa Catholic Conference Newsletter, April 6, 2014

To: Iowa Catholic Conference Legislative Network

Budget bills are being considered in both chambers of the Iowa Legislature and that’s usually a sign that the end of the session is not too far away. 

In news regarding our current action alerts:

  • The Senate Appropriations Committee has passed the $986 million budget bill for the state Department of Education and the state universities. Senate File 2347 contains a…
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Added by Tom Chapman on April 6, 2014 at 4:14pm — No Comments

Iowa Catholic Conference Newsletter, New Action Alert

To: Iowa Catholic Conference Legislative Network

NEW ACTION ALERT

We have posted a new action alert in support of a pilot program to assist refugees who have been placed in Iowa. Senate File 2270 would allocate about $2.2 million to help community organizations train refugees to assist other refugees in getting a job, food, clothing, shelter, English language training, etc. The U.S. government provides transitional assistance only during the first 90 days refugees are here.…

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Added by Tom Chapman on March 30, 2014 at 11:18am — No Comments

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