Catholic Conference of Ohio
Friday, April 19, 2024

Issues - Catholic Conference of Ohio

Current Legislation

CCO Testified in Support of HB 106, the Pay Stub Protection Act

And HB 34 Passed by Senate

The Catholic Conference of Ohio testified earlier this week in support of House Bill 106, which would require employers to provide earnings and deductions statements to their employees. The Catholic faith considers work a fundamental right and calls for protection in the form of fundamental fairness in all agreements and transactions. In the encyclical Rerum Novarum, Pope Leo wrote, “to defraud any one of wages that are his due is a great crime which cries to the avenging anger of Heaven.” Click “Read more” to view the full testimony.

In addition, House Bill 34, which would excuse breast-feeding mothers from jury service, was unanimously passed by the Ohio Senate. The bill now goes to Governor DeWine for his approval as the Ohio House of Representatives unanimously passed HB 34 last June. 

CCO Testified in Support of SB 159 for a Tax Credit for Donations to Pregnancy Resource Centers

The Catholic Conference of Ohio testified this week in support of Senate Bill 159, which would authorize a tax credit for donations made to pregnancy resource centers. Studies in Ohio have shown that black women and women of low socio-economic status are more likely to visit a pregnancy resource center. Given the plight of maternal health outcomes in Ohio by race and class, it is obvious that pregnancy resource centers are invaluable institutions serving women most in need. SB 159 would encourage directing funds to organizations whose efforts to support women with material resources, counseling, and personal accompaniment are a heroic witness to the dignity of women and their preborn children.  

Click "Read more" for the full testimony.

CCO Testified in Support of SB 198 to Provide Inmates with State ID Cards

The Catholic Conference of Ohio testified this week in support of Senate Bill 198, which would provide inmates with state identification cards and documentation upon their release relating to work experience, education, and trade skills. The Bureau of Justice Statistics finds that three out of five of those once incarcerated struggle with unemployment, in part due to the difficulty of procuring necessary documentation. Providing applications for identification cards, copies of training records, a birth certificate, and other documents that assist a returning citizen in obtaining employment will yield manifold benefits, both for those involved in the justice system and beyond. Click "Read more" to view the full testimony.

Ohio House and Senate Override Governor’s Veto to Enact HB 68

The Ohio Senate voted to override Governor DeWine’s veto of House Bill 68, the Save Adolescents from Experimentation (SAFE) Act which bans gender transition drugs and surgeries for minors and prohibits biological males from competing in female sports. HB 68 will soon become law after the Ohio House also voted to override the Governor’s veto earlier in January. The Catholic Conference of Ohio provided testimony in support of HB 68 in both the House and Senate, emphasizing that experience of gender incongruence among young people are serious and individuals must be met with compassion, charity, and personal accompaniment without resorting to medical interventions that harm a developing body. We are grateful to the Ohio House and Senate for prudently addressing these concerns through HB 68 and ensuring it becomes Ohio law.

Click "read more" for the full testimony.

CCO Testified in Support of HB 50 to Create CQH for Formerly Incarcerated

CCO testified in the Senate Committee for Community Revitalization in support of House Bill 50 to create a certificate of qualification for housing (CQH) for the formerly incarcerated, 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.”

CCO Testifies in Support of SB 101 to Abolish the Death Penalty

The Catholic Conference of Ohio testified this week in support of Senate Bill 101 to abolish the death penalty. The Ohio House and Senate bills to end the death penalty have now received proponent testimony and await opposition testimony. The Catholic Church, in Ohio and around the world, vehemently rejects the use of capital punishment, which disregards mercy, rejects redemption, and ignores the dignity of human life. Rather, the Catholic Church calls for a social order where the work of justice embraces tender acts of mercy, where our response to crime leads to renewal and redemption, and where every human life – no matter its circumstance, race, class, or stage of development – is cherished as an icon of our Creator.   

Make your voice heard and urge your state legislators to support Senate Bill 101 and House Bill 259 to abolish the death penalty in Ohio. Use the following action alerts to easily send a message:

Catholic Bishops of Ohio Statement on Passing of Issue 1

 The Catholic Bishops of Ohio issued the following statement regarding the passing of Issue 1:

Today is a tragic day for women, children, and families in Ohio. We mourn that the dignity of human life remains concealed by the duplicity of a culture of death. Though this is a day of sorrow, we are never without hope. St. Paul tells us that it is in hope that we were saved and, “if we hope for what we do not see, we wait with endurance.”

Asking for God’s protection and mercy, we must look ahead. Despite the obstacles this amendment presents, the Catholic Church in Ohio will continue to work for policies that defend the most vulnerable, strengthen the child-parent relationship, and support women in need. As we pray for the conversion of minds and hearts to the gospel of life, we recommit ourselves to defending children in the womb and supporting women in need. The Catholic Church and faithful will never grow weary in our mission to help women and families flourish through ministries such as Walking with Moms in Need and other local organizations that provide material and spiritual support and through advocacy with policymakers.

We, the Catholic Bishops of Ohio, are grateful to the Catholic faithful, clergy, and all people of goodwill whose actions in this campaign demonstrated our commitment to honoring and upholding the dignity of life. Your sacrifices prove that the Church will never abandon her mission to support human life. We will persevere in this mission until every preborn child is protected, every pregnant woman is supported, and every human life receives respect, dignity, and justice.

Click "Read more" below to view the full statement with the bishops' signatures in English. Read the statement in Spanish by clicking here.

Catholic Bishops of Ohio Urge Action to End Death Penalty

Action Alerts: SB 101 & HB 259

The Catholic bishops of Ohio issued a letter to all Ohio Senators and Representatives asking them to support legislation to end Ohio's death penalty. The Catholic Church worldwide continuously seeks the full protection of the law for human life from conception to natural death. Read the letter here.

Make your voice heard and urge your state legislators to support Senate Bill 101 and House Bill 259 to abolish the death penalty in Ohio. Use the following action alerts to easily send a message:

In addition, CCO testified in support of HB 259 to abolish the death penalty. Catholic opposition to the death penalty is rooted in our teaching that every human being bears the image of God, regardless of the stage of life or circumstance. From the preborn, to the indigent, to the man on death row, the Catholic Church insists that every single human life deserves justice, respect, and mercy. It is the unequivocal teaching of the Catholic faith that the death penalty is “inadmissible.”  

CCO Testified in Support of the Strong Foundations Act

This week, the Catholic Conference of Ohio testified in support of HB 7, The Strong Foundations Act, to support Ohio mothers and babies in their first one thousand days to address maternal and infant mortality. The bill would help improve health and development outcomes for babies and mothers through expanded prenatal, postnatal, infant, and toddler health care and early intervention and wraparound services and supports. HB 7 resonates strongly with the Catholic Church’s commitment to solidarity with vulnerable women and preborn children and complements the support offered through Catholic Charities and programs like Walking with Moms in Need.

CCO on 2023 November Ballot Issues 1 and 2

The Catholic Conference of Ohio firmly opposes Issue 1, which would enshrine the “right” to abortion in the Ohio Constitution. This extreme amendment endangers the health and safety of women, threatens parental rights, and allows for abortion through all nine months of pregnancy.

The Catholic Church has always advocated for and acted to protect the most vulnerable in society, including the indigent, migrants, and preborn children in the womb. We will continue to do so by explaining the harms Issue 1 poses to women, parents, and babies with Catholics and all people of goodwill across Ohio and encourage a no vote on this egregious proposal. Ohioans deserve just laws which provide expansive resources and accompaniment to mothers and young families, not proposals like Issue 1 which does nothing to support women.

The Catholic Conference of Ohio also opposes Issue 2 to legalize recreational marijuana in Ohio.

Click "Read more" to view CCO resources to defeat Issue 1.