Tom Chapman's News Updates (96)

Iowa Catholic Conference Newsletter - Nov. 20, 2015

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…


Added by Tom Chapman on November 20, 2015 at 12:26pm — No Comments

Iowa bishops statement on Syrian refugees, Nov. 17, 2015

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…


Added by Tom Chapman on November 18, 2015 at 1:39pm — No Comments

ICC Newsletter - Nov. 3, 2015


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…


Added by Tom Chapman on November 3, 2015 at 12:07pm — No Comments

ICC Newsletter - new speakers announced for hunger rally - sign up today

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…


Added by Tom Chapman on October 22, 2015 at 9:46am — No Comments

Reflections on Pope Francis' visit to the U.S.

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…


Added by Tom Chapman on September 29, 2015 at 1:46pm — No Comments

Iowa Catholic Conference Newsletter - Sept. 4, 2015

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…


Added by Tom Chapman on September 4, 2015 at 11:30am — 3 Comments

Iowa Catholic Conference Newsletter - Aug. 14, 2015


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.…


Added by Tom Chapman on August 14, 2015 at 1:06pm — No Comments

Iowa Catholic Conference Newsletter - July 31, 2015 - 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…


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…


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…


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…


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…


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…


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…


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…


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…


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

Iowa Catholic Conference Newsletter, May 4, 2015


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…


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…


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

Iowa Catholic Conference Newsletter, April 20, 2015


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…


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

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