As often happens at the end of the year, Congress is addressing some important issues related to human life and dignity.
Many families affected by migration here in the United States need our support and action today. For example, since 2012, nearly 800,000 undocumented young people have passed background checks, paid a fee, and received permission to live and work in America through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Originally they were… Continue
Added by Tom Chapman on December 10, 2017 at 8:01pm —
We at the Iowa Catholic Conference are very grateful for your participation in our legislative network and willingness to take action on important concerns. We pray you have a Happy Thanksgiving!
USCCB PRESIDENT CALLS FOR PROTECTION OF THE VULNERABLE, ESPECIALLY MIGRANT AND REFUGEE FAMILIES
Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), offers a Thanksgiving Day message to the nation with special gratitude for the… Continue
Added by Tom Chapman on November 22, 2017 at 9:50am —
The Iowa Catholic Conference (ICC) Board of Directors met late last month to consider its legislative agenda for the coming year.
Three recipients of DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) status addressed the board about their personal stories. Subsequently the ICC board approved a resolution in support of immigrants, particularly in support of legislative protection for “Dreamers” to ensure that they are not deported. An updated action alert to send a message to your member… Continue
Added by Tom Chapman on November 7, 2017 at 12:48pm —
SHARE THE JOURNEY
Pope Francis today launched a worldwide, two-year “Share the Journey” campaign calling on Catholics to ‘encounter’ migrants and refugees in an effort to break down barriers of fear and suspicion and build bridges of understanding and hospitality. “Brothers and sisters, do not be afraid to share the journey! Do not be afraid to share hope,” he said.
Many dioceses are sponsoring events in the coming weeks as a part of the campaign. The new website… Continue
Added by Tom Chapman on September 27, 2017 at 10:39am —
The Catholic bishops of Iowa have contacted Iowa’s congressional delegation in support of DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) youth and the Dream Act of 2017.
You are encouraged to take action on the issue as well at https://justiceforimmigrants.org/take-action/action-alerts/.
The text of the Iowa Catholic Conference letter is as follows:
Added by Tom Chapman on September 1, 2017 at 11:51am —
First things first. Let’s keep in our prayers the people who are facing Hurricane Harvey. Our colleagues at the Texas Catholic Conference have sent along a link from Catholic Charities USA in case you’re interested in making an immediate donation: bit.ly/2wwpwp5.
The U.S. Catholic bishops have established a new committee against racism. It will focus on addressing the sin of racism in our society, and even in the Church, and… Continue
Added by Tom Chapman on August 28, 2017 at 11:08am —
HEALTH CARE REFORM STILL AT ISSUE
The U.S. Senate is still working on a health care reform bill called the “Better Care Reconciliation Act.” In response to a newly-released version, Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida, Chairman of the U.S. Bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, said, “The USCCB is reviewing carefully the health care bill introduced by Senate leadership earlier today (July 13). On an initial read, we do not see enough improvement to change… Continue
Added by Tom Chapman on July 17, 2017 at 9:38am —
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has sent out an updated action alert regarding the Senate health care bill. You can find the alert and take action at https://votervoice.net/USCCB/home.
The USCCB is recommending the following three changes to the bill:
- Strip out harmful changes to Medicaid that will wreak havoc on the poor and vulnerable, including the per capita caps;
- Ensure that any health…
Added by Tom Chapman on June 27, 2017 at 1:09pm —
The U.S. Senate is working on its version of a health care bill. The House passed its own bill last month.
Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida, Chairman of the U.S. Bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, has highlighted certain positive elements in the Senate bill, but reiterated the need for Senators to remove unacceptable flaws in the legislation that harm those most in need.
Bishop Dewane said, “The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is… Continue
Added by Tom Chapman on June 23, 2017 at 1:06pm —
The Catholic bishops of Iowa have released a statement reviewing the 2017 Iowa legislative session.
Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds is now serving as governor following the resignation of Gov. Terry Branstad. In her inaugural address, she mentioned tax reform, energy, education and workforce issues as priorities. Branstad has been confirmed as the… Continue
Added by Tom Chapman on May 25, 2017 at 3:53pm —
The Iowa legislative session ended Saturday morning at 7:15 a.m. after pulling an all-nighter. Here are a few updates from the past week:
The Senate passed Senate File 471 and sent it to the governor. The bill prohibits abortion after 20 weeks post-fertilization with exceptions to save the life of the mother or for a serious physical health emergency. The bill also contains a three-day waiting period before an abortion. We have been working on this bill since 2011 and it is the… Continue
Added by Tom Chapman on April 24, 2017 at 1:12pm —
Although the state legislature may be moving towards adjournment in the next week or two, there are still several issues where your input can make a difference.
Thanks for your contacts last week with legislators in support of mental health funding reform. House Study Bill 194 passed the House Ways and Means Committee unanimously. If you haven’t sent a message yet, your help would be appreciated in bringing this issue to the attention of legislators. For background information… Continue
Added by Tom Chapman on April 16, 2017 at 8:05pm —
First things first – we pray you have a blessed Holy Week!
On to the news …
Senate File 471, the bill to prohibit abortions after 20 weeks post-fertilization, passed the House with an amendment last week by a vote of 55-41 and returns to the Senate. The bill corrects the deficiencies we saw in the House and adds a 72-hour informed consent period before an abortion takes place. If the Senate agrees, the bill goes to the governor.
There was some confusion on social… Continue
Added by Tom Chapman on April 10, 2017 at 9:02am —
The second legislative “funnel” deadline was on Friday. Other than budget and tax bills, legislation was required to have passed one chamber and through a committee in the other chamber to remain eligible. Keep in mind nothing is totally dead until the session is over.
Senate File 471 advanced out of the House Human Resources Committee last Wednesday night. The committee fixed the problems we saw in the Senate version of the bill. We will be working to see if we can get… Continue
Added by Tom Chapman on April 3, 2017 at 8:54am —
Appropriations bills for state departments are being introduced at the legislature, which is usually a sign that the session is heading into its last month or so.
A bill outlawing trafficking in fetal body parts, Senate File 359, passed the Iowa Senate last week by a vote of 43-6. The bill moved to the House for possible consideration. This bill would allow the use of tissue procured from morally-licit sources.
Senate File 471, a bill to restrict abortions after… Continue
Added by Tom Chapman on March 27, 2017 at 9:11am —
LAST WEEK AT THE STATE CAPITOL
A bill to restrict abortions after 20 weeks post-fertilization, Senate File 471, has passed the Senate by a vote of 32-17. The vote was mainly along party lines with two Democrats and an Independent joining the Republicans in supporting the bill. The bill now goes to the House for possible consideration.
Senate File 471 has an exception to allow… Continue
Added by Tom Chapman on March 19, 2017 at 10:01pm —
Thanks for your quick response to our action alert supporting an increase in Iowa’s minimum wage. Unfortunately an effort to bring up an amendment to increase the minimum wage to $10.75 failed in the House on Thursday by a vote of 57-41.
The House went on to pass House File 295 which would “pre-empt” cities and counties from raising the minimum wage on their own. Four counties – Linn, Wapello, Polk and Johnson – had already passed an increase in the minimum wage and the bill… Continue
Added by Tom Chapman on March 13, 2017 at 8:57am —
The first legislative “funnel” deadline was last Thursday. That means any bill that has not passed out of a committee by now is dead for the session, with the exception of budget and tax bills.
During the next few weeks, the Iowa Senate will be working to pass bills that came out of a Senate committee, and send them to the House so they can go through a House committee before the next deadline date of March 31. The Iowa House will be doing the same. But nothing is dead for certain… Continue
Added by Tom Chapman on March 5, 2017 at 9:43pm —
Our newsletter is extra lengthy this week because of the upcoming first legislative deadline. Bills are required to pass their first committee by Friday to remain eligible, with the exception of bills related to budget or taxes. It will be an extremely busy week at the capitol.
Here’s a list of the bills that have an action alert on our website followed by a short explanation. Please visit our Action Center at… Continue
Added by Tom Chapman on February 26, 2017 at 8:29pm —
Almost all other work stopped at the state capitol last week as debate focused on a bill to limit collective bargaining rights for public sector union members (HF 291). The bill passed both chambers on Thursday and was signed by the governor on Friday. In light of the legislature’s debate on the issue, the Iowa Catholic Conference again released its statement on “Labor and the Common… Continue
Added by Tom Chapman on February 19, 2017 at 9:17pm —