Welcome to the new members of our legislative network.
It’s shaping up to be an interesting week at the State Capitol. It’s “funnel” week, where non-money bills in the Iowa Legislature are required to pass a committee no later than Friday to remain eligible for consideration.
It’s time to contact your legislator in support of Education Savings Accounts. A subcommittee meeting is scheduled tomorrow (Tuesday) to consider an ESA bill in the Iowa House. Please encourage your…Continue
Added by Tom Chapman on March 1, 2015 at 11:48am — No Comments
You may have been waiting for the right opportunity to contact your legislators in support of Education Savings Accounts. Now's the time! Go to https://www.votervoice.net/ICC/campaigns/39022/respond.
Education Savings Accounts (ESAs) would allow parents who choose not to enroll their children in a public school to receive a deposit of public funds into a savings account set up by the state. This…
We’re pleased to report that two of our legislative priorities moved forward last week.
House Study Bill 138, regulating payday loans, was introduced last Monday and passed a subcommittee on Thursday. We support the bill. HSB 138 would help customers avoid the debt cycle by allowing them a 90-day period to pay off the debt without repeat borrowing. Now our job is to convince the House Commerce…Continue
SCHOOL START DATE
You may have been hearing some discussion about a “start date” for Iowa’s public and nonpublic schools. Iowa law requires schools to start no earlier than the week that contains the first day of September. However, for many years the state has allowed schools to get a waiver and pick an earlier date to start school.
Following objections from the tourism industry and the Iowa State Fair, the governor has decided not to allow any waivers. This poses a problem…Continue
Added by Tom Chapman on February 15, 2015 at 6:31pm — No Comments
LAST WEEK AT THE CAPITOL
The Iowa House Education Committee passed a bill last week to provide additional spending flexibility for community-based preschools, such as Catholic schools, that participate in the state-funded preschool program. The bill, House File 156, also includes transportation funding provisions to assist public schools. HF 156 is now eligible to be debated on the House floor.
The first subcommittee meeting was held last Thursday for Senate File…Continue
Catholic Schools Week and National School Choice Week were celebrated across the state last week. Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds spoke at a school choice event held at the State Historical Building and Gov. Branstad signed proclamations to mark the events.
In addition, staff from the Iowa Catholic Conference was part of a team of speakers discussing Education Savings Accounts at Davenport Assumption High School last Thursday night. There was a great turnout of nearly 100 people at this…Continue
This week is Catholic Schools Week and the Iowa bishops have released a statement in support of Education Savings Accounts. ESAs would allow parents who choose not to enroll their children in a public school to receive a deposit of public funds into a savings account set up by the state. The money could be used for nonpublic school tuition.
“This innovative idea would further level the playing…Continue
Added by Tom Chapman on January 23, 2015 at 4:24pm — No Comments
The first day of the Iowa legislative session this week offered an opportunity for legislative leaders to talk about their expectations for the session. You can find the highlights on our Facebook page.
Legislators began introducing bills this week. Many have little chance of advancement. As bills start to move we’ll let you know about our priority items.
Iowa is one of only seven states with a “split legislature.”…Continue
Added by Tom Chapman on January 16, 2015 at 12:50pm — No Comments
The 86th General Assembly of the Iowa legislature begins this Monday, Jan. 12. Little legislative work typically gets done the first week other than the usual ceremonies and organizational meetings of committees. During the first day legislative leaders address the chambers to talk about their plans for the session.
Also coming up next week is Governor Branstad’s “Condition of the State” speech to the legislature on Tuesday and Chief Justice Cady’s “State of the Judiciary” address on…Continue
Added by Tom Chapman on January 9, 2015 at 1:30pm — No Comments
The staff of the Iowa Catholic Conference is looking forward to being a part of two events later this month to help Catholics inform their consciences and support the life and dignity of the human person. We hope you can join us!
For updates on the events, you can listen in to Iowa Catholic Radio at www.iowacatholicradio.com this Friday, Jan. 9 v. I’m scheduled to be part of the 7:15 a.m. news segment to discuss the upcoming Midwest March…Continue
As we head toward Christmas, our staff is making preparations for several events in January: the start of the legislative session on Jan. 12, the Midwest March for Life on Jan. 17, and the Iowa Institute for Social Action on Jan. 18-19.
We are working with supporters in the legislature to prepare an Education Savings Accounts (ESA) proposal. ESAs would allow parents who choose not to enroll their child in a public school to receive a deposit of public funds into a savings…Continue
Added by Tom Chapman on December 18, 2014 at 9:54am — No Comments
To: Iowa Catholic Conference Legislative Network
The status quo has prevailed at the state legislature in Iowa. The Democrats retained a 26-24 majority in the Iowa Senate, while the House Republicans picked up a few seats to increase their majority to 57-43. Gov. Terry Branstad (R) was re-elected. At the federal level, Republicans are in control of the House and Senate.
As for the Iowa Catholic Conference, our focus will continue to be on applying Catholic social teaching to…Continue
Added by Tom Chapman on November 5, 2014 at 1:00pm — No Comments
"You must be guided by your moral convictions, not your self-interest or your attachment to a political party or interest group."
Faithful Citizenship for Iowa Catholics, 2014
To: Iowa Catholic Conference legislative network:
If you’re watching any TV these days, you know that Election Day is drawing near. The Iowa Catholic Conference…Continue
Added by Tom Chapman on October 31, 2014 at 10:25am — No Comments
To: Iowa Catholic Conference legislative network
Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t make a difference in the political arena. Especially when your contacts with legislators are combined with those of your friends and neighbors, I have seen many instances where you have had a real impact. Keep your head up looking for opportunities to help, and your head down in prayer!
Right now we’re asking for your help with three items:
1. We are asking for contacts to Congress…Continue
Added by Tom Chapman on October 17, 2014 at 10:27am — No Comments
ALERT – TAKE ACTION TODAY
The U.S. Catholic bishops and Catholic Charities USA have sent an action alert in support of the Second Chance Act. Please send a message to your Senators and Representatives as the bill is starting to move in Congress.
This bill funds many programs that provide crucial employment assistance, substance abuse treatment, housing, mentoring, and other services…Continue
Added by Tom Chapman on September 12, 2014 at 11:06am — No Comments
From: Tom Chapman, Iowa Catholic Conference
The Iowa Catholic Conference has released its “Faithful Citizenship for Iowa Catholics” statement in advance of the 2014 mid-term elections. The document, signed by the diocesan bishops of Iowa, includes a list of questions that all are encouraged to ask of candidates for office.
“A fundamental test of the morality of public policy is whether it supports or threatens human life and the common good,” the statement reads. “We reject the…Continue
Added by Tom Chapman on September 3, 2014 at 8:45am — No Comments
One of the main goals of the Iowa Catholic Conference is to help inform your conscience and encourage involvement in the political process, particularly on issues at the state legislature. To that end, next month we’ll be releasing the latest version of our “Faithful Citizenship for Iowa Catholics” document. However, recent events on the national and international scene are worthy of your immediate prayer and attention.
The situation is grave for many Christians and other minority…Continue
Added by Tom Chapman on August 8, 2014 at 9:35am — No Comments
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…Continue
Added by Tom Chapman on July 3, 2014 at 1:36pm — No Comments
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.”…Continue
Added by Tom Chapman on June 26, 2014 at 10:41am — No Comments
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:
Added by Tom Chapman on May 28, 2014 at 2:22pm — No Comments