Catholic Conference of Ohio
Thursday, July 18, 2024

Issues - Catholic Conference of Ohio

Statewide Eucharistic Pilgrimage to Carey, Ohio, August 14

To mark this year of going out on mission during the National Eucharistic Revival, the Catholic Bishops of Ohio invite all the faithful to make a pilgrimage to Carey, Ohio, for the Vigil of the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Join the bishops, priests, deacons, consecrated religious, and lay faithful from across the state on Wednesday, August 14, beginning at 9 p.m. for a candlelight rosary procession with the Miraculous Statue of Our Lady of Consolation from the Basilica Shrine to the Shrine Park followed by Holy Mass at the outdoor Altar in the Shrine Park. Click "Read more" for details.

Governor DeWine Signs HB 50 into Law

House Bill 50 (sponsored by State Representatives Latyna Humphrey (D-Columbus) and Bill Seitz (R-Cincinnati)), which creates a certificate of qualification for housing (CQH) for the formerly incarcerated, was signed into law by Governor Mike DeWine. The Catholic Conference of Ohio supported HB 50, noting that, “Restoration demands that we respond to the victims of crime with care and compassion, but the full administration of justice is impossible unless we also attend to the dignity of those returning from prison. … Becoming a tenant is one of the most important steps a formerly incarcerated person takes in their reintegration, and failure to do so dramatically increases the likelihood of recidivism.”

Bishop Lohse Named New Apostolic Administrator of Steubenville

Bishop Edward M. Lohse has received an additional appointment from Pope Francis as apostolic administrator of the Diocese of Steubenville while he continues as bishop of the Diocese of Kalamazoo. Bishop Paul J. Bradley concludes his service as apostolic administrator of Steubenville as of June 14.

Click "Read more" for the full Diocese of Steubenville press release.

HB 7, the Strong Foundations Act, Passes the House

SB 198 Reported Out of Committee

Two bills supported by the Catholic Conference of Ohio are moving forward to the next stage in the legislative process.  House Bill 7, the Strong Foundations Act, passed the Ohio House of Representatives and will now go to the Ohio Senate. HB 7 supports Ohio mothers and babies in their first one thousand days to address maternal and infant mortality and to improve health, developmental, and learning outcomes. Programs it funds include Healthy Beginnings at Home, which helps pregnant women maintain stable housing, and the Help Me Grow program, which provides parent support and education to improve maternal and child health and encourage positive parenting.

Senate Bill 198, which provides inmates with state identification cards and documentation upon their release relating to work experience, education, and trade skills, was passed out of the Small Business and Economic Opportunity Senate Committee. It will now go to the Ohio Senate floor for a vote.

CCO Testifies in Support of Expanding the Charitable Use Property Tax Exemption

The Catholic Conference of Ohio testified in support of Senate Bill 242 (SB 242) to expand the charitable use property tax exemption. The testimony highlights an inconsistency that SB 242 aims to correct, “The Revised Code contains an inexplicable gap with respect to property taxation when exempted entities, including Catholic parishes and charities, enter a lease agreement. Despite the exemption from property tax enjoyed when a charitable organization leases from another charitable organization, a political subdivision, or an educational institution, this exemption does not apply when a charity leases property from a religious institution. … This change more faithfully reflects the purpose of existing property tax policies and incentivizes wider cooperation between religious and charitable institutions, including those affiliated with the Catholic Church and other faith traditions.” 

Click “Read more” for the full testimony.

CCO Testified Against HB 451on Remittance Transfer Fee

The Catholic Conference of Ohio opposed House Bill 451 in testimony today. HB 451 would levy a remittance transfer fee on money transmissions to a person outside the United States while allowing an income tax credit based on the remittance transfer fees paid. Within the testimony, CCO notes that “HB 451 puts onerous restrictions on legal residents of Ohio and threatens their support of loved ones stuck in cycles of poverty and violence. …these small remittances of $200 to $300 are the difference between survival and starvation.” Ohio residents should not need to pay an additional fee for fulfilling a Christian obligation to provide charitable resources to people in other countries. 
Click “Read more” for the full testimony. 

CCO Testified in Support of HB 460, the GROW Act

And HB 50 Passed by the Senate

The Catholic Conference of Ohio testified in support of House Bill 460, the Getting Rehabilitated Ohioans Working (GROW) Act, which would allow for the automatic sealing of certain criminal records. The Catholic Church calls for public policies that ensure justice while directing the criminal justice system to achieve its ends of rehabilitation and restoration. This bill does both without compromising the demands of reparation following a criminal conviction. Click “Read more” for the full testimony.

In addition, House Bill 50 to create a certificate of qualification for housing (CQH) for the formerly incarcerated, was passed by the Senate on Wednesday, May 8. The bill now goes to Governor DeWine for his approval as the Ohio House of Representatives passed HB 50 on May 24, 2023. 

CCO Testified in Support of HB 197 to Establish Community Solar Pilot Programs

The Catholic Conference of Ohio testified today in support of House Bill 197, which would establish community solar pilot and solar development programs. Teachings of the Catholic Church call us to care for our common home, to employ innovative means of stewarding our resources, and to attend to the needs of the vulnerable. Caring for our common home requires public attention to the means of energy production, and HB 197 brings an innovative approach to an all-of-the-above energy strategy. Click "Read more" to view the full testimony.

CCO Testified in Support of HB 295, the Innocence Act

The Catholic Conference of Ohio testified today in support of House Bill 295, the Innocence Act, which would prohibit an organization from failing to verify the age of a person attempting to access material that is obscene or harmful to juveniles, prohibit a person from using another person's likeness to create sexual images of the other person, and create a private right of action for each prohibited activity. The research on pornography is clear and unanimous: its effects are gravely injurious to young people. Not only will the Innocence Act treat minors online as it does in person, but this bill also responds to one of the most pressing needs of our time. Namely, the protection and elevation of human dignity. Click "Read more" to view the full testimony.

Governor DeWine Signs HB 34 into Law

House Bill 34, which excuses breast-feeding mothers from jury service, was signed into law by Governor Mike DeWine. The Catholic Conference of Ohio testified in support of the bill sponsored by Representatives Roy Klopfenstein (R-Haviland) and Angela King (R-Celina) and unanimously passed by both the Ohio Senate and Ohio House of Representatives. The law will go into effect 90 days from today, April 23, 2024.