As we approach the end of the year, the federal government is working to wrap up consideration of several issues that affect human life and dignity here and around the world. We encourage you to contact the government during the next few days with your opinion on these issues:
The Administration has proposed a “public charge” rule that would severely hamper immigrants’ ability to care for their families and secure legal immigration status.“Public charge” is one of… Continue
Added by Tom Chapman on December 6, 2018 at 3:45pm —
More than 1.3 million people voted in Iowa on Tuesday, nearly 61 percent of the electorate. It’s the highest number of voters for a mid-term election ever in the state.
However, the more things change, the more they stay the same. Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) won re-election over Fred Hubbell, and Republicans also retained control of the Iowa House and Senate. Pending recounts, Republicans lost five seats in the House to keep a 54-46 majority while they gained three seats in the Senate to… Continue
Added by Tom Chapman on November 12, 2018 at 8:56am —
Voting has begun in Iowa. Now is the time for you to choose!
In their Faithful Citizenship for Iowa Catholics statement, the Iowa Catholic bishops say, “There will never be a perfect candidate, but that’s no excuse not to vote, which would let some other force or voice fill the vacuum left by… Continue
Added by Tom Chapman on October 22, 2018 at 3:46pm —
To receive occasional alerts from the Iowa Catholic Conference, text the word IOWACATHOLIC to 50457.
DON’T CUT SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE TO LOW-INCOME STUDENTS
The Iowa Catholic Conference is encouraging you to contact your members of Congress and the IRS to stop a proposed rule that could cut the number of scholarship available for students to attend a K-12 nonpublic school.
The IRS recently proposed regulations which would limit the federal deductibility… Continue
Added by Tom Chapman on September 25, 2018 at 9:31am —
The Iowa Catholic Conference (ICC) has released its “Faithful Citizenship for Iowa Catholics” letter for distribution in advance of the 2018 general election. The Catholic Church does not endorse or oppose candidates or political parties. However, it contributes to the political process by encouraging Catholics to take action in the political arena with a properly-formed conscience.
For more information on the social and moral teachings of the Church as they…
Added by Tom Chapman on September 7, 2018 at 12:45pm —
BISHOPS RESPOND TO ABUSE SCANDAL
The four Catholic bishops of Iowa are responding to the Holy Father’s call for the Church to join in acts of prayer and fasting in “combating all forms of abuse of power, sexual abuse and the abuse of conscience.” Check out the Iowa Catholic Conference Facebook page for more details.
A recent grant jury report detailed the scope of sexual abuse issues in the Catholic Church in… Continue
Added by Tom Chapman on August 24, 2018 at 10:59am —
ARE 529 PLANS RIGHT FOR YOU?
Federal and state “529” college savings plans have been expanded to provide a tax benefit to parents paying tuition at K-12 Catholic schools in Iowa. Our partners at Iowa ACE have put together an information sheet you can take to your tax professional to see if the new benefits will help you. Click here for more… Continue
Added by Tom Chapman on July 23, 2018 at 2:17pm —
Iowa Supreme Court strikes down abortion reflection period
By a vote of 4-2, the Iowa Supreme Court has struck down a provision providing for a three-day reflection period before an abortion can take place. We strongly disagree with the Court’s judgment that this regulation of abortion impinges upon fundamental state Constitutional rights.
Several of the state’s bishops have commented on the ruling and we have shared those statements on our… Continue
Added by Tom Chapman on July 2, 2018 at 9:12am —
Primary elections are being held tomorrow (Tuesday, June 5) for political parties to select their candidates for office. Polls are open from 7 a.m. until 9 p.m. Voter registration or a change in party affiliation are allowed at the polling place. For more information, go the Iowa Secretary of State’s website at sos.iowa.gov.
You can also visit our website for… Continue
Added by Tom Chapman on June 4, 2018 at 3:45pm —
A few quick updates:
The U.S. Catholic bishops’ social justice department has issued an action alert regarding the federal Farm Bill.Please contact your member of Congress today at www.votervoice.net/usccb/home and ask them to insist on changes to the bill. It has serious flaws that would negatively impact poor, hungry and vulnerable people. You can… Continue
Added by Tom Chapman on May 14, 2018 at 9:30am —
The Iowa legislature adjourned “sine die” on Saturday, ending the 2018 session of the 87th General Assembly. We are very grateful that many of you contacted your legislator during the past few days.
The Iowa legislative session completed its work with the passage of a tax reform bill, Senate File 2417, that will cut taxes by about $2 billion over the next several years. Some of the tax cuts won’t kick in unless state revenue surpasses certain levels.
SF 2417 included a $1… Continue
Added by Tom Chapman on May 7, 2018 at 8:17am —
The Iowa legislative session is in overtime as lawmakers are into their third week of not receiving their per diem expense checks. However, the session may end this week as Gov. Kim Reynolds and House and Senate Republican leadership have announced a deal on a tax reform plan, one of their key priorities.
The actual legislative language has not yet been made available. A key question is whether the tax cuts will allow adequate revenues for public education, Medicaid, public safety, a… Continue
Added by Tom Chapman on April 29, 2018 at 6:15pm —
It appears that Republican leaders in the Iowa House and Senate are getting closer to an agreement on tax reform and the state budget.
The House is proposing an increase in state spending of $235 million and a $7.5 billion budget. The Senate is proposing $5 million less overall, with slightly more for education and human services, and slightly less for the “standing appropriations” bill and justice systems.
Regarding tax reform, the Senate has proposed a $2 billion cut over… Continue
Added by Tom Chapman on April 22, 2018 at 9:32pm —
The Iowa Catholic Conference was disappointed that Gov. Reynolds signed the immigration enforcement bill, Senate File 481, last week. The Catholic bishops of Iowa had sent a letter to the governor asking for a veto.
In a statement regarding the bill, the bishops said, “Our energy, therefore, should be directed toward finding a solution so that immigrants are welcome here, and as a consequence, strengthen our communities with their families, enrich our social fabric by their faith and… Continue
Added by Tom Chapman on April 15, 2018 at 4:48pm —
Senate File 481, the immigration enforcement bill, passed the Iowa House and Senate last week and is going the governor for her signature. The Iowa Catholic Conference opposed the bill. Among other provisions, the bill requires local jails to comply with all requests from ICE (immigration control) to hold immigrants, even when federal law does not require it. People would be held for possible deportation when they otherwise normally would get released.…
Added by Tom Chapman on April 9, 2018 at 9:16am —
Typically Holy Week is a slower week at the State Capitol. That was true this year as well. Three issues of interest did not see any floor or committee action:
The good news is that Senate File 481, immigration enforcement, was not debated last week in the House. We believe advocates’ efforts are having an impact and slowing the bill down. There’s still time to contact your legislator.
Senate Study Bill 3206 passed out of subcommittee last week but has seen no further action… Continue
Added by Tom Chapman on April 2, 2018 at 8:41am —
All parents, regardless of address or income, deserve the ability to make choices in education that reflect their basic convictions and aspirations for their child. A new bill to provide for Education Savings Grants, Senate Study Bill 3206, passed out of a subcommittee last week. Some parents could use that money to help pay for nonpublic school tuition. The bill is now eligible for consideration by the full Senate Appropriations Committee.
Thanks to those of you who have sent a… Continue
Added by Tom Chapman on March 25, 2018 at 5:32pm —
The second legislative deadline - called the “second funnel” – was last Friday. Only bills that have passed a committee in both chambers remain eligible, except for budget- and tax-related legislation.
Senate File 359 made it past the deadline. The bill, passed by the Senate last year, has been on our priority list. It would stop trafficking in fetal body parts which remain following an elective abortion. The bill advanced out of the House Human Resources Committee… Continue
Added by Tom Chapman on March 18, 2018 at 6:16pm —
The U.S. Congress will decide soon, most likely this week, whether to include the Conscience Protection Act (CPA) in must-pass government funding legislation.
Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, chair of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Pro-Life Activities, and Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, chair of the USCCB’s Committee for Religious Liberty, are urging you to flood Congress with emails and calls asking for enactment of the… Continue
Added by Tom Chapman on March 11, 2018 at 8:42pm —
Thanks to those of you who were able to call Congress in support of Dreamers. More than 48,000 calls were made to the DC offices of U.S. Senators and Representatives. Also last week, the U.S. Supreme Court declined the government's request to hear its “appeal before judgment” on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) cases. This means that DACA renewals remain available to those who currently have DACA status. Otherwise young persons with… Continue
Added by Tom Chapman on March 4, 2018 at 9:46pm —