Welcome to our weekly report as the legislature considers the last few bills of the session. There’s still time to contact your legislator by going to our Action Center at www.votervoice.net/icc/home.
On Friday the Iowa Senate passed its version of HF 2460, the human services budget bill. The bill appropriates nearly $2 billion for important human services programs. Among the…Continue
Added by Tom Chapman on April 25, 2016 at 8:23am — No Comments
Budget bills are moving at the State Capitol and legislators are aiming to finish the session by the end of the week.
House File 2460 is the appropriations bill for health and human services. It has been approved by the House Appropriations Committee and is scheduled to be debated on the floor of the House as soon as tomorrow. The bill spends nearly $2 billion from the state’s general fund for important health and human services programs, such as Medicaid and the state’s safety…Continue
Added by Tom Chapman on April 18, 2016 at 8:52am — No Comments
First, I’d like to say a word of welcome to our many new subscribers. We really appreciate your taking action on issues that are important to you!
A bill to set up a pilot program for Education Savings Accounts passed out of subcommittee last week. I know some of you are hearing some inflated figures about how much the bill, HF 2284, would cost the state. As drafted, the cost to the state would be less than a million dollars. In the context of the state’s $5 billion education…Continue
Added by Tom Chapman on April 11, 2016 at 8:24am — No Comments
The Iowa House Appropriations Committee is currently considering House File 2284, which, as drafted, would open 190 Education Savings Accounts (ESAs) for low-income public school parents in two school districts, Sioux Center and Waterloo. HF 2284 passed out of subcommittee yesterday.
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.…
Added by Tom Chapman on April 5, 2016 at 3:50pm — No Comments
COMING UP THIS WEEK
A subcommittee meeting is scheduled for early this afternoon (Monday) for House File 2284, a bill that would create a pilot Education Savings Accounts (ESAs) program. The establishment of ESAs is one of our priorities for the legislative session.
Education Savings Accounts would empower parents to choose the most suitable education for their children, regardless of income or where they live. HF 2284 would allow some low-income parents to receive…Continue
As legislative proposals for doctor-prescribed suicide become more prevalent across the country, the Catholic bishops of Iowa are organizing a statewide educational effort regarding end-of-life care aligned with Catholic values. Click here for more details. The project is called “Supportive Care Iowa.”
“We have a duty to protect and preserve our life. However,…Continue
Two bills supported by the Iowa Catholic Conference were passed by the legislature and sent to the governor this week:
House File 2386 passed the Senate 49-0. The bill enables the termination of parental rights when the court finds “clear and convincing” evidence that a child was conceived as a result of sexual abuse. The abuser’s parental rights could be terminated as a result of their perpetrating the sexual abuse.
The Iowa House also passed Senate File 2191 by a vote of…Continue
Added by Tom Chapman on March 18, 2016 at 12:24pm — No Comments
As attention turns to budget matters at the legislature, we are asking for your help on a bill that would support refugees who have resettled in Iowa. SF 2298 would expand the current “RefugeeRISE” program contingent on an appropriation from the legislature. The Iowa Refugee Alliance is seeking $350,000 from the state to leverage $650,000 in federal matching dollars. The program is run by EMBARC, a nonprofit group…Continue
Added by Tom Chapman on March 11, 2016 at 1:00pm — No Comments
The Iowa Catholic Conference (ICC) supports HF 2329, a bill to prohibit the trafficking and use of fetal tissue following an abortion. It was set to be debated last week on the floor of the House; however, on Thursday the state Board of Regents came out publicly against the bill. We can infer this is because the University of Iowa wants to protect its ability to continue using fetal tissue from abortions in research.
The Church teaches that the use of this tissue is unethical because…Continue
Added by Tom Chapman on March 6, 2016 at 3:42pm — No Comments
If you sent a message to your legislator last week through our Action Center last week, thank you! If you haven’t yet done so, we would appreciate your taking action on these two bills:
House File 2329 would stop the transfer or sale of fetal tissue in Iowa after an abortion. The ICC supports the bill. Our position is that abortion is a grave moral evil…Continue
Last Friday was the first legislative deadline when bills were required to pass out of a committee to remain eligible (with exceptions for budget and tax bills). In the wake of the deadline we’re asking for your help with two bills in the Iowa House. Please visit our Action Center and send a message to your legislator:
(Support) House File 2329 would stop the transfer or sale of fetal…Continue
Added by Tom Chapman on February 22, 2016 at 8:56am — No Comments
The Iowa Catholic Conference legislative breakfast takes place tomorrow at the State Capitol. The Iowa bishops, along with ICC board and committee members, will be meeting in an informal setting with legislators who stop by. Davenport Bishop Martin Amos will provide the daily prayer in both chambers. Keep an eye on our Facebook page for photos.
Lawmakers are working towards this Friday’s legislative deadline. Bills…Continue
Added by Tom Chapman on February 15, 2016 at 8:57am — No Comments
As you know, helping parents choose the school that's right for their child is a priority for the Iowa Catholic Conference. One concrete way you can help this year is to attend the "Education Celebration" rally at the State Capitol at noon on March 1. I know it is really hard for people to get away to Des Moines during the week, but if you happen to be available it would be a great event to attend and show legislators our support for nonpublic schools.
Our partners at the Iowa…Continue
Added by Tom Chapman on February 11, 2016 at 10:04am — No Comments
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