It was a short week at the state capitol last week with the Iowa Caucuses on Monday and a snowstorm on Tuesday. The precinct caucuses saw record turnout on the Republican side and high attendance among the Democrats. Most meetings at the capitol were cancelled last Tuesday but the rest of the week was hectic as lawmakers push towards the first legislative deadline on Feb. 19.
Here’s a look at some bills we’re working on. You can click on the link to see the text of the bill and its…Continue
Iowa Catholic Conference staff participated in a meeting held at the University of Notre Dame this week discussing strategies to increase access and improve the quality of Catholic schools. Diocesan superintendents and representatives of state Catholic Conferences from across the country took part.
Catholic Schools Week starts on Sunday. The theme is “Catholic Schools: Communities of Faith, Knowledge and Service.” We believe that Catholic schools are a vital part of forming disciples…Continue
Added by Tom Chapman on January 29, 2016 at 1:59pm — No Comments
Not all of the political activity in Iowa these days relates to the caucuses. The state legislature is back in session as well.
Senate File 84 was considered in a Senate subcommittee on Tuesday. The bill would restrict many employers from asking job applicants up-front about criminal convictions. The purpose of the bill is to provide better opportunities for ex-offenders by preventing their job applications to be put aside immediately based on their criminal record.
Added by Tom Chapman on January 22, 2016 at 4:17pm — No Comments
The Iowa legislative session began on Monday with the usual ceremonies and opening statements by leaders. Rep. Linda Upmeyer (R-Clear Lake) was sworn in as Iowa’s first female Speaker of the House. She said that the legislature should pursue policies that increase opportunities, use technology to remove barriers, and make Iowa the best state in the nation to grow a business and raise a family.
Sen. Mike Gronstal (D-Council Bluffs), Senate Majority Leader, said the legislature’s focus…Continue
Added by Tom Chapman on January 15, 2016 at 3:53pm — No Comments
We hope to see you at the Midwest March for Life coming up on Saturday, Jan. 16. The event is put on by Iowa Right to Life. Check out the flier here. There will be a Mass with the bishops of Iowa at St. Ambrose Cathedral in Des Moines beginning at 9:30 a.m., followed by a rally on the west steps of the state capitol at 11 a.m. and a walk to the Iowa Supreme Court…Continue
Added by Tom Chapman on January 8, 2016 at 1:00pm — No Comments
We asked for your help last week on three issues related to the omnibus bill ultimately signed into law by President Obama.
Unfortunately, the abortion non-discrimination (ANDA) provisions we were working for did not make it into the final legislation. However, on the good side, past improvements to the Earned Income Tax Credit were reauthorized. The measure also funds refugee resettlement services while avoiding negative provisions regarding refugees.
If you were able to send…Continue
Added by Tom Chapman on December 22, 2015 at 2:20pm — No Comments
There’s much activity in Washington, D.C. as Congress works to pass an omnibus appropriations bill. The U.S. bishops’ conference is asking for your help on three issues:
1. We still have the opportunity to stand up for the conscience rights of pro-life health care providers. The Abortion Non-Discrimination Act (ANDA) will close loopholes in existing law and provide a private right of action so that health care providers, whose freedom of conscience is denied, can defend their rights…Continue
Added by Tom Chapman on December 11, 2015 at 3:04pm — No Comments
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is asking for your help in urging Congress to protect the right of conscientious objection to abortion.
Can you imagine if you had spent years training to help the sick as a nurse – only to find that to keep your job, you must take part in the killing of a defenseless five-month-old unborn child? This happened to Cathy Cenzon-DeCarlo, RN, who was forced by her employer to participate in a late-term abortion against her deeply held pro-life…Continue
Added by Tom Chapman on November 20, 2015 at 12:26pm — No Comments
The recent movement of 27 governors in the United States to apparently oppose entrance to Syrian refugees to their respective states (CNN, 11/16/2015) revives an embarrassing experience in our country’s history.
During World War II, those of Japanese nationality in the United States were rounded up and placed in confinement. In the aftermath of World War II, apologies and compensation were accorded to the victims of such unfortunate actions. As…Continue
Added by Tom Chapman on November 18, 2015 at 1:39pm — No Comments
‘VOTE TO END HUNGER’
Additional presenters and supporters have been announced for Sunday’s interfaith and bipartisan “Vote To End Hunger Rally” at Grand View University in Des Moines.
Rep. Mark Smith, (D-Marshalltown), Democratic leader in the Iowa House of Representatives, and Sen. Brad Zaun, (R-Urbandale), will make a few remarks.
The rally will also feature an Iowan who has lacked reliable access to a sufficient quantity of food. Jean Rolf currently lives in Dubuque…Continue
Added by Tom Chapman on November 3, 2015 at 12:07pm — No Comments
Additional speakers have been announced for the interfaith Vote to End Hunger Rally to be held Nov. 8 at Grand View University in Des Moines.
Kathie Obradovich, political columnist for the Des Moines Register, will serve as the emcee for the event. Cory Berkenes, executive director of the Iowa Food Bank Association, will speak about what hunger looks like in Iowa. Jos Linn, Grassroots Manager, U.S. Poverty Campaigns, RESULTS, will lead an interactive session educating participants on…Continue
Added by Tom Chapman on October 22, 2015 at 9:46am — No Comments
I was fortunate to be on the south lawn of the White House for the arrival ceremony with President Obama and Pope Francis. You can check out a photo on our Facebook page.
In taking my connecting flight to Washington, D.C. out of Minneapolis, I have to say it was fun to be on a plane with so many people who were obviously Catholic. There were lots of Pope Francis t-shirts, bishops and priests, lay people reading diocesan…Continue
Added by Tom Chapman on September 29, 2015 at 1:46pm — No Comments
This is the time of year when we’re reviewing possible legislation for the next session, doing presentations for various groups and meeting with key legislators regarding our priorities. For example, Iowa Catholic Conference staff will be speaking at the School Choice Summit coming up in a couple of weeks. It will be held Wednesday, Sept. 16 at the State Historical Museum in Des Moines. There’s still time to find out more…Continue
SIGN UP TODAY FOR THE SCHOOL CHOICE SUMMIT
Don’t forget to sign up for the Iowa School Choice Summit on Wednesday, Sept. 16. Sponsored by our partners at the Iowa Alliance for Choice in Education, the event will be held at the State Historical Building (600 E. Locust in Des Moines) from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
There will be sessions for parents, School Tuition Organization leaders and school personnel.…Continue
Added by Tom Chapman on August 14, 2015 at 1:06pm — No Comments
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…Continue
Added by Tom Chapman on July 31, 2015 at 2:52pm — No Comments
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…Continue
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…Continue
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…Continue
Added by Tom Chapman on June 18, 2015 at 9:12am — No Comments
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…Continue
Added by Tom Chapman on June 8, 2015 at 9:53am — No Comments