Catholic Conference of Ohio
Saturday, May 18, 2024

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


 

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 Advocates for Prioritizing Families and Women and Children in Need in HB33

CCO Executive Director, Brian Hickey, sent a letter to members of the HB33 FY24-25 operating budget conference committee advocating for the rights of parents to choose the educational option that best fits their children and for addressing the needs of pregnant women, seniors, and children. Click “Read more” to view the full letter. 

CCO Testifies in Support of Exempting Baby Products from Sales Tax

On Tuesday, May 23, CCO testified in support of House Bill 118, which would exempt baby products from Ohio sales tax. CCO views this bill as a clear opportunity to promote the common good by easing the financial burden of families with young children. Low-income families with newborn children would particularly benefit as they pay a larger share of their income in the form of sales tax. As Pope St. John Paul II wrote in his “Letter to Families,” the common good is most realized “in the newborn child.”

CCO Testifies in Support of Workers

On Tuesday, May 16, the Catholic Conference of Ohio testified in support of HB 106, the Pay Stub Protection Act, which would require employers to provide earnings and deductions statements to each employee. In the testimony, CCO shared that the USCCB Pastoral Letter on the U.S. Economyon the fundamental right to make a living, calls for protection in the form of fundamental fairness in all agreements and transactions. By providing transparency between businesses and workers, this bill would help assert that worker’s dignity is not less than their employers and help defend working Ohioans from wage theft.

CCO Testifies in Support of Fairness in Sports and House's Budget Bill

The Catholic Conference of Ohio testified this week in support of two bills. HB6 would ensure fairness in sports by requiring schools to designate separate teams for participants according to their biological sex. CCO affirmed the bill’s alignment with the Church’s teaching about the equality of men and women and the need to create equitable opportunities for biological females to compete in sports. The Conference also expressed that harassment or unjust discrimination of those experiencing gender identity discordance is unequivocally wrong. In addition, CCO delivered a second round of proponent testimony on HB33 to expand the threshold for a family to receive an Ed Choice Income-Based Scholarship to 400 percent of the Federal Poverty Level. Catholic schools represent the largest system of nonpublic schools in Ohio. CCO again stressed the need to address issues in school transportation as well as necessary increases to auxiliary service funds, nonpublic administrative cost reimbursement, funding levels in the categories of disabilities, and tax credit for giving to scholarship granting organizations.

CCO Testifies in Support of House's Budget Bill

Advocating for Catholic Schools

The Catholic Conference of Ohio testified this week on HB33, affirming the Governor’s proposal to expand the threshold for a family to receive an Ed Choice Income-Based Scholarship to 400 percent of the Federal Poverty Level. As a long-standing champion for school choice and advocate for the largest system of nonpublic schools in Ohio with 374 Catholic schools and over 109,000 students, CCO stressed the need to address issues in school transportation as well as necessary increases to auxiliary service funds, nonpublic administrative cost reimbursement, funding levels in the categories of disabilities, and tax credit for giving to scholarship granting organizations.

CCO Testifies on Bills to Enhance the Ability of Charitable Pharmacies to Provide Medication to Uninsured and Underinsured Ohioans and Promote Religious Freedom of Higher Ed Students

Last week, the Catholic Conference Ohio testified in support of two bills. HB 558 would enhance the ability of charitable pharmacies, hospitals, and nonprofit clinics to serve those needing expensive, life-saving medication. The CCO cited the tremendous work of St. Vincent de Paul Charitable Pharmacies in their efforts to help many low-income Ohioans and how this bill will allow them and other agencies the ability to receive and distribute expensive medication. HB 353 requires each state institution of higher education to adopt a policy providing students with religious accommodations. CCO's testimony emphasized that an essential duty of government is to protect the religious liberty of its citizens.   

Catholic Campaign for Human Development and World Day of the Poor

The Sixth World Day of the Poor Coincides with Annual CCHD Collection

On the weekend of November 12-13, Catholics across the United States have the opportunity to honor the World Day of the Poor and help their neighbors who struggle against poverty by giving to the annual special collection for the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD). Coinciding with the annual observation of World Day of the Poor (November 13), established by Pope Francis in 2017, CCHD responds to the call to accompany our brothers and sisters experiencing poverty: “Where the poor are concerned, it is not talk that matters; what matters is rolling up our sleeves and putting our faith into practice through a direct involvement, one that cannot be delegated.” See Pope Francis' message for World Day of the Poor here.

Each of Ohio's six dioceses has a CCHD coordinator. You can find their contact information here

See the USCCB's complete statement for this year's CCHD collection and World Day of the Poor here.

Labor Day Statement 2022

Statement Focuses on Promoting the Welfare of Working Families

The USCCB recently issued their annual reflection on the world of work and the importance of upholding the dignity of all laborers. In the reflection, Archbishop Coakley reiterated support for improved public policy to support working families, such as expanding the Child Tax Credit and passing the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act. Join us in Ohio by advocating for state policies that are pro-women, pro-family, and pro-worker. This unique time calls us to witness emphatically for authentic, life-affirming social policies. 

Read the full statement HERE.

CCO Speaks with The Pillar about Potential Post-Roe World

Jerry Freewalt and Brian Hickey spoke about life-affirming advocacy in Ohio

Jerry Freewalt, Executive Director, and Brian Hickey, Associate Director on Social Concerns, were quoted in an article published by The Pillar examining what State Catholic Conferences are advocating for with the potential of a reversal of Roe v. Wade. The article explores the agenda of Ohio as well as California, New York, Colorado, and Iowa.

This advocacy aims to be rooted in evangelization, by witness to a vision of the human person, born and unborn, created in the “image of God.”