Tom Chapman's News Updates (89)

Iowa Catholic Conference Newsletter - July 31, 2015 - Failing to respect the dignity of human life

FAILING TO RESPECT THE DIGNITY OF HUMAN LIFE

The release of videos showing Planned Parenthood’s involvement with the provision of babies’ organs following an abortion has prompted much reaction.

Cardinal Sean O’Malley, OFM Cap., archbishop of Boston and chairman of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), noted that “Pope Francis has called abortion the product of a ‘widespread mentality of profit, the throwaway culture, which has…

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Added by Tom Chapman on July 31, 2015 at 2:52pm — No Comments

Final report on 2015 legislative session

The 2015 Iowa legislative session began in January with Democrats in control of the Senate, 26-24, and with Republicans leading the House 57-43. Iowa is one of only seven states with a legislature that’s not controlled by a single party. As you might expect, that means it’s more difficult to pass bills through both chambers.

The usual deadline to end the session is when the per-diem payment for expenses by legislators runs out – this year on May 1. However, the session bogged down on…

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Added by Tom Chapman on July 9, 2015 at 10:14am — 1 Comment

Iowa bishops speak out on Supreme Court's marriage decision

The Catholic bishops of Iowa have issued the following statement on the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to require states to license a marriage between two people of the same sex:



"The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on marriage saddens us. To make something legal does not mean that it is true or good. Take, for example, the ruling that legalized abortion.



Notwithstanding this ruling, we will continue to lead people to live under the Gospel, which requires us to be humble and… Continue

Added by Tom Chapman on June 26, 2015 at 10:45am — 2 Comments

Bishops release statement on Iowa Supreme Court decision

The Iowa Supreme Court has struck down the Board of Medicine’s rule that essentially prohibited telemedicine (“webcam”) abortions. A district court had upheld the rule, but Planned Parenthood appealed to the Iowa Supreme Court. Here’s a statement from the Iowa Catholic bishops on today’s news:

We are disappointed by the Iowa Supreme Court’s decision to strike down a rule prohibiting abortions by telemedicine.

In 2013 the Iowa Board of Medicine approved a rule that required a…

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Added by Tom Chapman on June 19, 2015 at 2:17pm — 1 Comment

Pope Francis releases encyclical letter on ecology

Pope Francis has released his encyclical letter “Laudato Si” (Praise Be to You). Addressing his letter to all the people living on the planet, the pope asks us to consider what kind of world we want to leave to those who come after us.

The chair of the Iowa Catholic Conference board, Bishop Richard Pates of Des Moines, said, “‘Praise be to you’ as an encyclical is not a political…

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Added by Tom Chapman on June 18, 2015 at 9:12am — No Comments

Iowa legislative session ends

The 2015 Iowa legislative session adjourned last Friday after the leaders of the Senate, controlled by Democrats, and the House, controlled by Republicans, came to a budget agreement. One of the most hard-fought issues – a funding increase for Iowa’s public schools – was finally resolved. Legislators agreed to a compromise that includes an increase of $55.7 million of “one-time money” from the state’s savings account, and a $50 million or so increase which will be included in the base…

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Added by Tom Chapman on June 8, 2015 at 9:53am — No Comments

Iowa Catholic Conference action alerts

Statehouse leaders have not yet come to an agreement on the state budget. Most legislators are at home while leaders are at the state capitol discussing (or not discussing) a possible deal. The next deadline is really July 1, when the new fiscal year begins.

One of the main sticking points is still funding for public schools. The Democrats are supporting a $200 million increase while Republicans have proposed a $100 million increase.

There are ongoing disagreements on other…

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Added by Tom Chapman on May 29, 2015 at 12:34pm — No Comments

Iowa Catholic Conference Newsletter, May 22, 2015

The Iowa Senate and House have passed different versions of SF 510, the "standings" appropriations bill. The bill makes adjustments to appropriations that are required by state law.

Regarding an issue of concern to the Iowa Catholic Conference, both versions of SF 510 contain status quo funding of $8.6 million for the transportation of nonpublic school students. If fully funded, the appropriation would be $9.96 million. School districts control how this money is expended either by…

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Added by Tom Chapman on May 22, 2015 at 8:56am — 1 Comment

Iowa Catholic Conference Newsletter, May 18, 2015

Different week – same story. There’s still no deal at the legislature regarding funding for public schools. Republicans have proposed a $100 million increase and the Democrats have proposed a $200 million increase. This disagreement is holding up completion of the state budget.

In the meantime, we have put two new alerts up on our website. As usual, several issues that had been put aside earlier in the session have come back to be…

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Added by Tom Chapman on May 18, 2015 at 9:29am — No Comments

Iowa Catholic Conference Newsletter, May 8, 2015

It was a fairly short but busy week at the capitol as work continued on the state budget along with a few policy items.

There are multiple reports that Democratic and Republican leaders have agreed on the level of increased funding for public schools, called “supplemental state aid.” With this agreement, public schools would receive a 1.25 percent increase as the House suggested, and also receive a one-time payment of $55 million. The one-time payment would not be added to the…

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Added by Tom Chapman on May 8, 2015 at 2:12pm — No Comments

Iowa Catholic Conference Newsletter, May 4, 2015

LAST WEEK AT THE CAPITOL

There’s been no visible progress on the standoff over funding for public schools in Iowa. The state spends nearly $3 billion on K-12 education from the general fund. Republicans have proposed about a $100 million increase and the Democrats have proposed  a $210 million increase. This stalemate has made it very difficult for legislators to consider additional assistance for private school parents.

Both chambers have passed the state Department of…

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Added by Tom Chapman on May 4, 2015 at 8:49am — No Comments

Iowa Catholic Conference Newsletter, April 27, 2015

Budget bills are starting to move in the Iowa legislature. The House Appropriations Committee is scheduled to consider the Department of Education budget bill later today (Monday). It includes status quo funding of about $650,000 to pay for textbook purchases by nonpublic schools. The bill also allows both public and nonpublic schools additional flexibility in how they spend state funds on preschool. This bill does not provide the state aid for public schools - that comes later in the…

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Added by Tom Chapman on April 26, 2015 at 8:31pm — No Comments

Iowa Catholic Conference Newsletter, April 20, 2015

KEEPING AN EYE ON BUDGET BILLS

It looks like the Democrats, who hold the majority in the Iowa Senate, will begin work on budget bills this week. Their proposal would allow for spending from the state’s general fund of about $7.3 billion, the same number as the governor’s budget. The Republican leaders in the House want the state budget to spend no more than about $7.2 billion.

Among the items we are monitoring in the state budget are programs that affect people with low-incomes…

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Added by Tom Chapman on April 19, 2015 at 10:17pm — No Comments

Iowa Catholic Conference Newsletter - April 10, 2015

State legislators have not been able to come to an agreement on public school funding levels. This has drastically slowed work on the state budget. Typically, a target date for the end of the session is when the reimbursement of daily expenses for legislators ends - this year on May 1. It seems unlikely that the legislature will be finished by May 1 this year.

On Wednesday the Iowa House passed SF 448 and sent the bill to the governor. The Iowa Catholic Conference had opposed a…

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Added by Tom Chapman on April 10, 2015 at 12:10pm — No Comments

Iowa Catholic Conference Newsletter - April 10, 2015

State legislators have not been able to come to an agreement on public school funding levels. This has drastically slowed work on the state budget. Typically, a target date for the end of the session is when the reimbursement of daily expenses for legislators ends - this year on May 1. It seems unlikely that the legislature will be finished by May 1 this year.

On Wednesday the Iowa House passed SF 448 and sent the bill to the governor. The Iowa Catholic Conference had opposed a…

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Added by Tom Chapman on April 10, 2015 at 12:07pm — No Comments

Iowa Catholic Conference Newsletter - second legislative deadline, April 6, 2015

The second legislative deadline was Friday. Only bills that have passed a committee in both chambers remain eligible, except for budget- and tax-related legislation. Several bills of interest to the Iowa Catholic Conference died in the “funnel.” Here’s a list, including our position on the bill:

  • HF 573, requiring an ultrasound procedure before an abortion (For). The bill also called for the mother to have an opportunity to view the ultrasound. HF 573 passed the Iowa House last…
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Added by Tom Chapman on April 6, 2015 at 8:57am — No Comments

Iowa Catholic Conference Newsletter - March 30, 2015

Friday is the second “funnel” deadline for non-money related bills to be passed by one chamber and approved by a committee in the other chamber. There’s still time to contact your legislator on some key issues.

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Added by Tom Chapman on March 30, 2015 at 9:04am — No Comments

Iowa Catholic Conference Newsletter, March 22, 2015

Please send a message to your Senator today in support of House File 573. The bill requires that prior to performing an abortion, a physician must certify that the woman has undergone an ultrasound imaging of the baby and that the woman was given the opportunity to view the ultrasound image.

Abortion is a very difficult and personal issue. It is very important that the mother have access to all relevant information…

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Added by Tom Chapman on March 22, 2015 at 12:52pm — No Comments

Iowa Catholic Conference Newsletter - March 16, 2015

The Iowa House passed House File 573 last Thursday by a vote of 57-39. The bill requires that prior to performing an abortion, a physician must certify that the woman has undergone an ultrasound imaging of the baby and that the woman was given the opportunity to view the ultrasound image. HF 573 supports an informed consent process for women and would reduce the number of abortions. The bill moves to the Iowa Senate. We’ll have an updated alert soon.

Please…

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Added by Tom Chapman on March 16, 2015 at 9:43am — No Comments

Iowa Catholic Conference, first legislative deadline report, March 7, 2015

Friday was the first “funnel” deadline at the legislature. With exceptions, bills have been voted out of committee by that date to be considered during the rest of the session.

An Education Savings Account bill, House Study Bill 203, did not come up for a vote in the House Education Committee. The chair of the committee chose not to bring it up because of budget concerns. The bill would have provided for Education Savings Accounts starting with kindergarten the first year and adding a…

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Added by Tom Chapman on March 7, 2015 at 12:34pm — 1 Comment

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