Catholic Conference of Ohio
Saturday, February 24, 2018

Issues - Catholic Conference of Ohio

Current Legislation

State Budget & Catholic K-12 Schools

Recently Passed Budget Helpful to Children Attending Catholic Schools

Funding increases occurred in the EdChoice Expansion Program, Cleveland Scholarship Program, Administrative Cost Reimbursement and Auxiliary Services. Helpful changes also occurred in various program areas.

Urge Congress to Pass the Conscience Protection Act of 2017

Defend Health Care Professionals Who Choose Not To Participate In Abortion.

Urge Congress to pass the CPA (H.R. 644) and S. 301) as part of must-pass appropriations legislation. The USCCB has joined with 32 other groups representing millions of Americans and tens of thousands of health care professionals with a profound concern about abortion, and particularly about the conscience rights of health care professionals and facilities who choose not to participate in the destruction of unborn lives.

Ohio Legislature Considering Further Protections for Unborn Children

Hearings Underway in Senate on Down Syndrome Non-Discrimination Act

The Down Syndrome Non-Discrimination Act (SB 164) seeks to prohibit abortions that are committed for the sole reason of a Down syndrome diagnosis. A companion bill, HB 214, is pending in the House. 

Conference staff member, Larry Keough, with his wife Jackie, and daughters Mary Kate and Sara Beth will be testifying in support of this legislation.


Other bills include:

SB 145: Dismemberment Abortion Ban. The legislation would prohibit dilation and evacuation abortions. The D&E abortion procedure is usually performed between thirteen and twenty-four weeks of pregnancy. (Passed the Senate) Conference Testimony

SB 28: Unborn Child Dignity Act, requiring that aborted fetal remains be either given earthly burial or cremation following an abortion.

HB 149: Abortion Trafficking Prevention Act, prohibiting fetal tissue trafficking.

HB 258: Heartbeat bill. Passed the legislature in last session, but vetoed by the Governor.(Conference remains neutral)

Ohio Opportunity Scholarship Program Seeks to Expand Parental Choice

HB 200/SB 85 seeks to help low and middle income families send their children to the school of their choice

 HB 200 / SB 85: the Opportunity Scholarship Program is a game changer.  It combines the current Ed Choice Scholarships and the Cleveland Scholarship into a new income-based program that allows full and partial scholarships to families earning up to 400 percent of poverty.  An important benefit of this program is the increased opportunity it will provide for many low and middle income families to send their children to the school of their choice.

Catholic Conference of Ohio Testimony in Support of HB 200 / SB 85

USCCB President, Vice President and Chairmen Denounce Decision to End DACA

"Cancellation of the DACA Program is Reprehensible"

Over 780,000 youth received protection from the DACA program (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) since its inception by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in 2012. DACA provided no legal status or government benefits but did provide recipients with temporary employment authorization to work in the United States and reprieve from deportation.

 


USCCB Statement

“The cancellation of the DACA program is reprehensible. It causes unnecessary fear for DACA youth and their families. These youth entered the U.S. as minors and often know America as their only home. The Catholic Church has long watched with pride and admiration as DACA youth live out their daily lives with hope and a determination to flourish and contribute to society: continuing to work and provide for their families, continuing to serve in the military, and continuing to receive an education. Now, after months of anxiety and fear about their futures, these brave young people face deportation. This decision is unacceptable and does not reflect who we are as Americans.

The Church has recognized and proclaimed the need to welcome young people: ‘Whoever welcomes one of these children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me' (Mark 9:37). Today, our nation has done the opposite of how Scripture calls us to respond. It is a step back from the progress that we need to make as a country. Today’s actions represent a heartbreaking moment in our history that shows the absence of mercy and good will, and a short-sighted vision for the future. DACA youth are woven into the fabric of our country and of our Church, and are, by every social and human measure, American youth.

We strongly urge Congress to act and immediately resume work toward a legislative solution. We pledge our support to work on finding an expeditious means of protection for DACA youth.

As people of faith, we say to DACA youth – regardless of your immigration status, you are children of God and welcome in the Catholic Church.  The Catholic Church supports you and will advocate for you.”

September 5, 2017: USCCB President Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston,  USCCB Vice President, Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angles, Bishop Joe S. Vásquez of Austin, chairman, Committee on Migration, and Bishop Joseph J. Tyson of Yakima, chairman of the Subcommittee on Pastoral Care of Migrants, Refugees, and Travelers

Church Teachings on Immigration

U.S. Bishops Chairman Responds To Defeat Of GOP "Skinny Repeal” Bill

"The greatness of our country is not measured by the well-being of the powerful but how we have cared for the 'least of these.'"

In response to the Senate vote on the "skinny repeal" bill, Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida, Chairman of the U.S. Bishops' Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, issued the following statement:

"Despite the Senate's decision not to pass legislation to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act last night, the task of reforming the healthcare system still remains. The current healthcare system is not financially sustainable, lacks full Hyde protections and conscience rights, and is inaccessible to many immigrants. Inaction will result in harm for too many people.

A moment has opened for Congress, and indeed all Americans, to set aside party and personal political interest and pursue the common good of our nation and its people, especially the most vulnerable. In order to be just, any bill for consideration must:

Protect the Medicaid program from changes that would harm millions of struggling Americans.

Protect the safety net from any other changes that harm the poor, immigrants, or any others at the margins.

Address the real probability of collapsing insurance markets and the corresponding loss of genuine affordability for those with limited means. 

Provide full Hyde Amendment provisions and much-needed conscience protections.

Any final agreement that respects human life and dignity, honors conscience rights, and ensures that everyone can access health care that is comprehensive, high quality, and truly affordable deserves the support of all of us.

The greatness of our country is not measured by the well-being of the powerful but how we have cared for the 'least of these.'  Congress can and should pass health care legislation that lives up to that greatness."

Statement

House Budget Resolution Places Poor in Jeopardy Says U.S. Bishops Chairman

Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida, Chairman of the U.S. Bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development expressed concern

“The USCCB is closely monitoring the budget and appropriations process in Congress and is analyzing the proposed House budget resolution in more detail.  It is clearly noted at the outset that the proposal assumes the harmful and unacceptable cuts to Medicaid from the American Health Care Act.  Additionally, steady increases to military spending in the resolution are made possible by cutting critical resources for those in need over time, including potentially from important programs like SNAP that provide essential nutrition to millions of people. The bipartisan approach to discretionary spending in recent years, while imperfect, reflected a more balanced compromise given competing priorities. 

A nation’s budget is a moral document.  Reducing deficits through cuts for human needs—while simultaneously attempting a tax cut, as this proposal does—will place millions of poor and vulnerable people in real jeopardy.  Congress should choose a better path, one that honors those struggling in our country.”

More

Revised Senate Health Care Reform Bill Still “Unacceptable,” Says U.S. Bishops Chairman

Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida, Chairman of the U.S. Bishops' Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development Responds

The USCCB is reviewing carefully the health care bill introduced by Senate leadership on July 13, 2017. On an initial read, we do not see enough improvement to change our assessment that the proposal is unacceptable. We recognize the incremental improvement in funding the fight against opioid addiction, for instance, but more is needed to honor our moral obligation to our brothers and sisters living in poverty and to ensure that essential protections for the unborn remain in the bill."

July 13, 2017 USCCB Statement by Bishop Dewane

House Does Not Override Governor Kasich's Veto of the Medicaid Enrollment Freeze

House leaves open their option to reconsider this provision through 2018

The Catholic Conference of Ohio commends House members for not overriding Governor Kasich's veto of the State budget provision that would  freeze enrollment in the Medicaid Expansion Program

The State Budget bill, approved by the Ohio GA,  proposed to freeze enrollment in the Medicaid Expansion Program starting July 1, 2018. Governor Kasich vetoed this provision.  The Ohio House met on Thursday, July 6, 2017 and opted not to bring up this provision for an override vote.

Because of our concern for the poor and vulnerable, the Catholic Conference of Ohio encouraged House members not to freeze enrollment in the Medicaid Expansion Program.

The Catholic Bishops of Ohio have consistently insisted that access to decent health care is a basic safeguard of human life and an affirmation of human dignity from conception until natural death. Medicaid serves the most vulnerable.  It is a vital safety net that offers health care coverage to Ohio's low-income children, parents, pregnant women, seniors, and people with disabilities, serious mental illness, and drug addiction. Our Catholic hospitals, nursing homes, mental health, and developmental disabilities programs effectively and responsibly utilize and depend on reimbursement from the Medicaid Expansion Program.

The House may decide to reconsider this provision anytime before December 31, 2018.

Senate Passes Legislation Prohibiting Dismemberment Abortions

Senator Lehner issues powerful floor speech

The Catholic Conference of Ohio testified that the proposed ban on dilation and evacuation abortions (SB 145)  is another important step in protecting unborn life. Dismemberment abortions are particularly gruesome.

The Catholic Church’s teaching concerning abortion is well known. We hold that every child, at every moment of existence, deserves love and the protection of the law. We do not believe any person or government has the right to take the life of an innocent human being – and we hold that the real problems that lead women to consider abortion should be addressed with solutions that support both mother and child. 

Full Testimony

RSS

Prayer for an End to Human Trafficking

Oh God, we didn't see them.

But you did-

The hundreds and thousands of human beings trafficked each year to join the millions who are trapped in modern-day slavery.

Under terrible conditions, they work in factories, plow fields, harvest crops, work quarries, fill brothels, clean homes, and haul water.

Many are children with tiny fingers for weaving rugs and small shoulders for bearing rifles.

Their labor is forced, their bodies beaten, their faces hidden from those who don't really want to see them.

But you see them all, God of the poor.

You hear their cry and you answer by opening our eyes, and breaking our hearts and loosening our tongues to insist:

No mas. No more.

Amen