The first Iowa legislative deadline is coming up. Any non-budget bill has to pass out of a committee in one chamber by Friday to remain eligible.
Legislation addressing one of the ICC’s major priorities was introduced last week by the chair of the House Education Committee, Rep. Walt Rogers (R-Cedar Falls).
House Study Bill 651, the “Iowa Student Opportunity Act,” would offer state-funded Educational Savings Grants for some parents to help them choose the educational option… Continue
Added by Tom Chapman on February 11, 2018 at 7:37pm —
There was some good news at the State Capitol last week. While the House’s bill to bring back the death penalty, House Study Bill 569, passed out of a subcommittee, it looks like there aren’t enough votes to bring the bill out of the full House Public Safety Committee. Our attention now will turn to the Iowa Senate, where a new bill to bring back the death penalty (Senate Study Bill 3134) was introduced Thursday.
Senate File 481 passed out of a House Public… Continue
Added by Tom Chapman on February 4, 2018 at 5:32pm —
Activity is picking up at the State Capitol as several issues of concern to Catholics are being considered.
There is a subcommittee meeting scheduled in the House on Tuesday to consider Senate File 481. This is the immigration enforcement bill that the Iowa Catholic Conference has opposed since it was introduced in the Senate last year. It passed the Senate last April and is being considered in the House.
Senate File 481 requires local jails to comply with all… Continue
Added by Tom Chapman on January 28, 2018 at 8:36pm —
It was another short week at the state Capitol as Iowans celebrated the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday last Monday.
A bill to bring back the death penalty was introduced Thursday in the Iowa Senate. Senate Study Bill 3042 would allow the penalty of death for the first degree murder of a peace officer. The Iowa Catholic Conference opposes the bill.… Continue
Added by Tom Chapman on January 21, 2018 at 4:59pm —
The 2018 session of the General Assembly convened last Monday. Much of the week was taken up by reports to the legislature by the executive branch, courts and the Iowa National Guard. The legislature will come back into session Tuesday, Jan. 16 after taking a break for the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.
Governor Kim Reynolds delivered her first Condition of the State address last week. She mentioned several items of interest to the Iowa Catholic Conference. The governor stated her… Continue
Added by Tom Chapman on January 14, 2018 at 9:48pm —
The second session of the 87th Iowa General Assembly is set to convene on Monday, when legislative leaders will address the chambers to talk about their plans for the session. Coming up on Tuesday is Gov. Kim Reynolds’ first “Condition of the State” speech to the legislature. The Republicans have control of the Senate 29-20 (with one independent) and the House by a count of 58-41 pending a special election.
It appears that the legislature may find it necessary early in the session… Continue
Added by Tom Chapman on January 4, 2018 at 11:47am —
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 —