Catholic Conference of Ohio
Thursday, October 29, 2020

Issues - Catholic Conference of Ohio

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. 


State Budget:

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.


Tax Reform:

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.


​​Resources


 

Church Leaders Praise Lawmakers for Historic Emergency Legislation on Coronavirus Relief

Improvements Still Needed

 Archbishop Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City and chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, praised members of Congress and the President for passing and signing into law the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act).

Brian Corbin, executive vice president of member services at Catholic Charities USA, welcomed allocations in the CARES Act for a variety of social services, some of which are delivered by diocesan agencies.

According to Corbin, among the specific items being funded are an additional $15 billion for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, formerly known as food stamps; $8.8 billion for child nutrition assistance; $4 billion for emergency solutions grants to address homelessness; $5 billion for the Community Development Block Grant that often funds social services such as food programs; and $200 million for the emergency food and shelter program.

Archbishop Coakley also encouraged continued legislative responses.  "There are some areas where aid and relief can improve. We will continue to advocate for those most in need, for food security, for the homeless, for prisoners, for the sick who have large medical bills, for all Americans who are struggling to make ends meet, and for those who have lost friends and loved ones. It was disappointing that certain aid and relief was not extended to the undocumented, and extremely concerning that testing and access to health care coverage was denied to certain immigrants..."

Summary of Legislatve Changes in the CARES Act (National Conference of State Legislatures)

 

Legislative Action Alert

Urge Withdrawal of Proposed Federal Rule Harmful to SNAP Recipients

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is our nation's foremost anti-hunger program. Each year SNAP lifts millions of low-income Americans out of food insecurity. One way individuals and families can be considered eligible for SNAP benefits is by automatically becoming eligible based on whether they already receive cash or non-cash Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) benefits; this is called “categorical eligibility.”

The USDA proposed a rule that limits the application of categorical eligibility for SNAP, essentially revising the income and asset limits for SNAP eligibility. These changes would make the SNAP program less efficient, discourage personal savings, undermine the ability of states to respond to local needs, and cause 3.1 million people to lose needed nutrition assistance. 

Send E-mail to USDA

Ohio House Considers State Budget: HB 166

Action expected by early May

HB 166: State Budget
House Budget Language
Governor's Proposal
LSC Analysis



Catholic Conference of Ohio Budget Backgrounders

Health and Human Services
Defend and Protect Human Life
Promote Care for Creation
Support Families Who Choose Catholic Schools

Catholic Conference of Ohio Page on the State Budget

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.

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.

 

Federal Budget Should Build Toward Common Good, Say U.S. Bishops Chairmen

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."

Ohio Bishops Oppose the Denial of Workers’ Compensation to Undocumented Workers

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.

Advance Final Tax Reform Bill Only if it Meets Key Moral Concerns, Says USCCB Chairman

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.

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