Catholic Conference of Ohio
Thursday, March 21, 2019

News & Press - Catholic Conference of Ohio

Governor DeWine Releases Executive Budget Proposal

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.

Steps Taken in Ohio Protecting Unborn Life

Ohio Senate Passes the Heartbeat Bill & Resolution for Congress to Support the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act

The Ohio Senate passed SB 23 by a vote of 19-13.  The bill generally prohibits a physician from performing an abortion on an unborn child whose fetal heartbeat has been detected (usually around 10 weeks).  The Catholic Conference of Ohio testified in support of this legislation.

The Senate also passed SR 41 by a vote of 32-0.  This resolution urges Congress to enact the “Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act,” which would guarantee adequate medical care is given to babies born after surviving an attempted abortion. The Catholic Conference of Ohio testified in support of this resolution.

Watch the Senate floor debates

Catholic Conference of Ohio Urges Support for Ohio's Heartbeat Legislation

Conference and many others testify in support of SB 23

The Catholic Conference of Ohio supports passage of SB 23, the Heartbeat bill. This version of the bill generally prohibits a person from aborting an unborn child whose fetal heartbeat has been detected (usually around 10 weeks). The bill also establishes the Joint Legislative Committee on Adoption Promotion and Support. The bill is pending in the Senate Health and Human Services and Medicaid Committee.

The Catholic Church teaches 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.

The Heartbeat bill will challenge the current legal precedents to abortion. With new changes in the United States Supreme Court, it is our sincere hope that this legislation will withstand constitutional challenge and be implemented in order to save lives.

Sponsor Testimony by State Senator Kristina D. Roegner

February 19, 2019 Proponent Testimony on SB 23

Catholic Conference Action Alert

Catholic Conference of Ohio Urges Support for the "Protect Trafficked Minors Act": SB 13

Bill will help protect children up to age 18 from human traffickers

The Catholic Conference of Ohio supports passage of SB 13, the "Protect Trafficked Minors Act". This bill will help protect minors up to age 18 years old from being “trafficked”. Currently, only children up to age 16 years old are fully protected under Ohio law. The bill is pending in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The Catholic Conference of Ohio believes it is important for Ohio to continue strengthening protections for victims of human trafficking. SB 13 provides yet another series of helpful changes. Such changes will help ensure that minors up to age 18 will have a greater degree of protection under Ohio law.

Sponsor Testimony from Senator Teresa Fedor

Catholic Conference of Ohio Action Alert

Church Leaders Welcome Passage of the FIRST STEP Act Through Congress

The First Step Act is a true first step towards long-term criminal justice system reform.

The FIRST STEP Act provides meaningful reform to our nation’s mandatory minimum sentences and “three-strike” policies. This reform provides a more just and equitable criminal justice system. In addition, the Act provides valuable incentives for prisoners to participate in vocational and rehabilitative programs helping to prepare them for reintegration into society. The Act also reauthorizes the Second Chance Act which provides access to meaningful local and faith-based programs that help returning citizens contribute to their communities and families.

Ohio Legislature Overrides Governor's Veto on the Gun Bill; Fails to Override the Heartbeat Bill

While the Ohio House voted to override the Governor's veto of the Heartbeat bill by a vote of 61-28, the Senate vote failed 19-13 (20 votes were needed for an override).  The bill will be reintroduced in the next General Assembly.

The Governor did sign legislation that prohibits dismemberment abortions: SB 145

Both the House and Senate voted to override the Governor's veto of the Gun Bill, HB 228.

U. S. Farm Bill Passed

The final five-year farm bill sets policies and reauthorizes farm, conservation, nutrition, rural development, agricultural trade and other programs. It protects domestic and international nutrition programs, maintains crop insurance and commodity subsidies for farmers, especially those who are struggling while strengthening support for rural communities and employment training programs.

Catholic Rural Life, along with its partnering organizations, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Catholic Charities USA, Catholic Relief Services, and the Society of St. Vincent de Paul commend Chairmen Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kansas) and Rep. K. Michael Conaway (R-Texas), and Ranking Members Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Michigan) and Rep. Collin Peterson (D-Minnesota) for their leadership in negotiating a bipartisan, compromise Farm Bill.

Ohio's 132nd General Assembly Winding Down

Possible vetoes will determine the fate of several life-related legislation

The Ohio Legislature is expected to return on December 19 and December 27 to wrap up the 132nd General Assembly.  Legislation not passed by January 1, 2019, must be reintroduced in the next Assembly. Much will depend upon whether the House and Senate will attempt to override any Governor vetoes (including vetoes made in the 2017 budget bill).  The Governor has indicated that he may veto the Heartbeat bill (HB 258), the gun bill (HB 228) and the pay raise bill (SB 296).  The Senate needs 20 votes to override; the House needs 60. 

 

Catholic Conference of Ohio Urges Caution in Enacting Legislation Changing Ohio's "Duty to Retreat" Provisions in Self-defense Situations

HB 228 makes changes to current "retreat" standards as they relate to the use of guns and other defense weapons

HB 228 recently passed the Ohio House by a vote of 65-32.  The Senate is expected to hold hearings this November and December.  The Catholic Conference of Ohio has a long-standing concern over changing provisions that may weaken one's "duty to retreat" in self-defense situations.

In a previous statement, the Ohio Bishops wrote:  "[We] believe that the duty to avoid violence (retreat), when possible, is an essential component of self-defense and respect for life. Defending one’s life can, at times, justly require the use of lethal force, but the use of lethal force should be a last resort and of absolute necessity. Other criteria for deciding between retreat and force include the imminent threat to life and the need for a proportional response. Our Church’s teaching cautions that if a person in self-defense uses more than necessary violence, it is immoral [Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2264].

The Bishops also encourage that HB 228 be expanded to include provisions from the Governor's workgroup on addressing gun violence.

Watch the House floor debate here

  

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

RSS