Tom Chapman's Blog (52)

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

Iowa Catholic Conference Newsletter, March 23, 2014

To: Iowa Catholic Conference Legislative Network

TAKE ACTION

If you haven’t yet done so, please consider contacting your legislators about funding for nonpublic school students. We’re asking for your help with two requests in the education area: textbooks and technology, and transportation.

Click here to go directly to the action alert on this issue. Thanks for your assistance.

NEWS FROM THE…

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Added by Tom Chapman on March 23, 2014 at 12:16pm — No Comments

Iowa Catholic Conference Second "Funnel" Deadline Update, March 16, 2014

To: Iowa Catholic Conference Legislative Network

Friday was the second “funnel” deadline at the legislature. Non-money bills in the Iowa Legislature were required to have passed one chamber and passed by a committee in the other chamber to remain eligible. 

Several issues we have been working on are no longer eligible for consideration. They include:

  • Prohibit “webcam” abortions - bill to prohibit this type of abortion procedure had passed the Iowa House but…
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Added by Tom Chapman on March 16, 2014 at 1:27pm — No Comments

Iowa Catholic Conference Newsletter, March 9, 2014

To: Iowa Catholic Conference Legislative Network

Here’s the news from last week …

The two parties have agreed on total General Fund spending of $6.92 billion for the 2015 fiscal year, about a seven percent increase compared to this year. Now the discussions will begin on exactly how to allocate this amount among the various state departments. This is the earliest I can remember that the two parties have agreed to a total budget number. I think it’s an indication the…

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Added by Tom Chapman on March 9, 2014 at 4:54pm — No Comments

New action alerts from Iowa Catholic Conference, March 2, 2014

To: Iowa Catholic Conference Legislative Network

TAKE ACTION TODAY

We encourage you to contact your legislator today on three issues of concern. For a sample message to your legislator and background information on the issues go to our Action Center. It can be reached through our website and Facebook page by clicking…

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Added by Tom Chapman on March 2, 2014 at 12:41pm — No Comments

Iowa Catholic Conference report on the first legislative deadline

To: Iowa Catholic Conference Legislative Network

Friday was the deadline for non-budget or tax bills in the legislature to win committee approval. Unfortunately, some key items didn’t make the cut. For example, the Education Savings Account bills in the House and Senate did not advance. As you recall, the bills would provide that the state deposit about $5,600 annually into a savings account for nonpublic school or homeschool students to help pay for tuition and other educational…

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Added by Tom Chapman on February 23, 2014 at 10:07pm — No Comments

Iowa Catholic Conference funnel week update

To: Iowa Catholic Conference Legislative Network

Last minute reminder – the annual Rally for Life is tomorrow (Monday). The event begins at 10 a.m. at St. Anthony Church in Des Moines and continues at 3 p.m. at the state capitol. If you can attend just one or the other location, that’s fine. The keynote speaker is Wesley Smith, one of America's leading experts in the area of bioethics. The focus will be on assisted suicide and end of life issues. For more information see the flier on…

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Added by Tom Chapman on February 16, 2014 at 6:20pm — No Comments

Iowa Catholic Conference Newsletter, Feb. 9, 2014

To: Iowa Catholic Conference Legislative Network

Thanks for the great response to the action alert we sent you last week. It is very much appreciated! If you haven’t had a chance to send a message to your legislator in support of an increase in the minimum wage, Educational Savings Accounts, or a ban on “webcam” abortions, go to our Action Center at…

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Added by Tom Chapman on February 9, 2014 at 7:14pm — No Comments

Please contact your legislators today

To: Iowa Catholic Conference Legislative Network

We have just put three legislative alerts on our website. We would appreciate you visiting our Action Center at www.iowacatholicconference.org to send your state legislator a message in support of each of these issues. 

House File 2090 advanced out of a House subcommittee yesterday. It creates Education Savings Accounts for…

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Added by Tom Chapman on February 5, 2014 at 10:45pm — No Comments

Iowa Catholic Conference Newsletter, Feb. 3, 2014

To: Iowa Catholic Conference Legislative Network

As expected, several bills of interest to the Catholic Conference were introduced last week. Typically we send out an action alert when a bill really needs a push one way or the other, but you don’t have to wait for us. You can always get contact information for your legislator by clicking “Action Center” at www.iowacatholicconference.org. You can also leave a message for him or her at…

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Added by Tom Chapman on February 3, 2014 at 9:48am — No Comments

Iowa Catholic Conference Newsletter, Jan. 26, 2014

To: Iowa Catholic Conference Legislative Network

The Iowa legislature was in session for only two days last week - but I think the pace is going to pick up substantially moving forward.

One of the seven core principles of Catholic Social Teaching as identified by the U.S. bishops is “care for creation.” Two bills related to this principle were introduced last week, House File 2028, and House File 2029. The Iowa Catholic Conference is monitoring HF 2028, which would put…

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Added by Tom Chapman on January 26, 2014 at 4:48pm — No Comments

First Week of the Iowa Legislative Session

The second session of the 85th General Assembly began on Jan. 13. The first day was an opportunity for legislative leaders to speak about their priorities for the session. Check out our…

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Added by Tom Chapman on January 20, 2014 at 8:30am — No Comments

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