Economic Justice >
"The development of economic activity and growth in production are meant to provide for the needs of human beings. Economic life is not meant solely to multiply goods produced and increase profit or power; it is ordered first of all to the service of persons, of the whole man, and of the entire human community. Economic activity, conducted according to its own proper methods, is to be exercised within the limits of the moral order, in keeping with social justice so as to correspond to God's plan for man."
(Catechism of the Catholic Church, #2426).
Catholic Social Doctrine teaches that a just economy is one that serves the human person. Questions of fair wages, fair taxation, fair treatment of workers and fair business practices are important public policy debates.
The State Budget is an expression of moral priorities. This budget should adequately fund health and safety, education and human services, economic development and environmental security. The needs of the poor and vulnerable should be a high priority.
The Catholic Conference of Ohio supports tax policies that fairly raise adequate revenues, and mitigate the impact on persons with fixed and low incomes. We believe wages should be adequate for workers to provide for themselves and their families with dignity.
Taxation is both an economic and moral issue. We believe there are important questions to be answered.
- Does Ohio’s tax structure adequately protect the poor, vulnerable children, seniors and the disabled?
- Are Ohio’s tax policies sufficiently progressive, intentionally designed to collect more from those with a greater ability to pay?
- Is Ohio’s tax code fair to all taxpayers?
- Do our tax policies serve the common good of Ohioans?
The Ohio Bishops support tax reform that is fair, raises adequate revenues, is progressive, and mitigates the impact on persons with fixed and low incomes.
Action expected by early May
Proposes Priority Funding Increases for Programs Related to Children, Mental Health and Substance Abuse Treatments, Workers, Lead Paint Abatements & Clean Water
The Ohio House will begin deliberations on the Executive Budget proposal presented by Governor DeWine. A House version will be proposed, followed by a Senate version. In June a conference committee will deliberate and propose compromises based upon the three versions. A balanced budget must be enacted by July 1, 2019.
The Catholic Conference of Ohio will be elvaluating and offering recommendations throughout the process.
Ohio House Concurs on Payday Lending Reform
Governor Kasich expected to sign
Substitute HB 123, as passed by the Senate, was agreed to in the Ohio House by a vote of 61-24. The Catholic Conference of Ohio joined with other faith communities in calling for the reform of Ohio’s payday lending practices. Substitute House Bill 123 provides consumer protections consistent with the intent of Ohio’s 2008 Payday Reform Act. This bill will help protect borrowers from excessive payday lending fees while allowing lenders to maintain reasonable cost-of-business fees.
The Catholic Conference of Ohio supports lending models that provide fair and helpful loans for persons in need. In the teachings of our faith, we have many warnings about usury and exploitation of people. Lending practices that, intentionally or unintentionally, take unfair advantage of one’s desperate circumstances are unjust. Catholic Social Teaching demands respect for the dignity of persons, preferential concern for the poor and vulnerable, and the pursuit of the common good. These principles coupled with our teaching on economic justice animate our questioning of current payday lending practices.
Watch the House concurrence debate
Release from Ohioans for Payday Loan Reform
Watch the Senate floor debate
USCCB Reacts to Recent U.S. Supreme Court Decisions
Praise Free Speech Ruling, Expresses Disappoints Regarding Labor Ruling and Travel Ban Ruling
Chairman of U.S. Bishops Committee on Domestic Justice & Human Development Expresses Disappointment in SCOTUS Ruling on Janus v. AFSCME. Click Here
Chairmen of U.S. Bishops’ Migration Committee and Religious Liberty Committee Express Disappointment with Supreme Court’s Ruling in Travel Ban Case. Click Here
Chairman of U.S. Bishops’ Pro-Life Committee Praises Supreme Court’s Respect for Free Speech in NIFLA v. Becerra Decision. Click Here
Payday Lending Reform Passes Ohio House
Advocacy Moves to the Senate
HB 123 will help protect borrowers from excessive payday lending fees while allowing lenders to maintain reasonable cost-of-business fees. The Catholic Conference of Ohio supports passage.
Under the bill:
• Payday lenders would be prevented from operating as credit service organizations or mortgage lenders or under Ohio’s Small Loan Act.
• A limit on the annual interest rate would be set at 28 percent, plus allowing a monthly 5 percent fee up to $20.
• Monthly payments would be limited to 5 percent of a borrower’s gross monthly income.
After the Trump Administration released its federal budget proposal, the Most Reverend Timothy P. Broglio, Archbishop for the Military Services, USA, chairman of the Committee on International Justice and Peace, and the Most Reverend Frank J. Dewane, Bishop of Venice, Florida, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, expressed deep concerns about many of the priorities outlined in the blueprint, and called on Congress to "ensure a budget for our country that honors our obligations to build toward the common good."
Contacting Ohio General Assembly House Members Urged
HB 380 PROPOSES TO DENY WORKERS' COMPENSATION TO UNDOCUMENTED WORKERS
In June, 2017, an attempt to amend the workers' compensation's budget bill to deny benefits to undocumented workers failed in the Ohio Senate.
The Ohio House has reintroduced this same restriction through HB 380.
All Ohioans can send an email through the Catholic Charities of Cleveland's Action Alert portal, or through the Ohio House e-mail site.
To do a zip code search for your Representative click here.
I am opposed to HB 380, which will deny workers' compensation to undocumented workers. Once undocumented immigrants are here and working, their human dignity itself should guarantee basic compensation and protections for the work they provide.
Letter Offers Recommendations for the Tax Proposals
Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, insisted that Congress should advance a final tax reform bill only if it meets key moral concerns. Bishop Dewane's letter highlighted various strengths and weaknesses of the pending tax proposals.
Senate proposal is fundamentally flawed as written and requires amendment.
Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, called for amendments to the Senate tax reform proposal to "ensure a just and moral framework for all." "...Congress must take adequate time to analyze the complexities of these proposed reforms, and make certain that the nation does not further enshrine indifference toward the poor into law. The Senate should act now to amend its legislation to better ensure a just and moral framework for all..."
Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida, Bishop Oscar Cantú of Las Cruces, New Mexico, and Bishop George V. Murry, SJ of Youngstown, Ohio call for amendments
“Doubling the standard deduction will help some of those in poverty to avoid tax liability, and this is a positive good contained in the bill,” wrote the Bishops of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. “However, as written, this proposal appears to be the first federal income tax modification in American history that will raise income taxes on the working poor while simultaneously providing a large tax cut to the wealthy. This is simply unconscionable.”