Catholic Conference of Ohio
Friday, April 19, 2024

News & Press - Catholic Conference of Ohio

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 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.

Supporting Ohio Women in Need

CCO was grateful that the approved budget (HB 33) included a number of items which we advocated for to invest in pregnant women, children, and other vulnerable Ohioans.

See How the Catholic Church in Ohio Supports Women in Need to learn more about the Catholic ministries that help women, children, and families in Ohio and the CCO's advocacy for structural support for women in need. 

Click "Read More" to view and download the flyer. 

CCO Statement on the FY24-25 State Budget

Executive Director of the Catholic Conference of Ohio, Brian Hickey, issued the following statement commending the expansion of school choice and increased support of pregnant women, children, and other vulnerable Ohioans in the FY24-25 State Budget.

“Ohio's FY24-25 State Budget puts parents and children first in their educational decisions by providing the largest expansion of school choice in Ohio's history. For decades, the Catholic Church in Ohio and nationwide has consistently advocated for public policy that enables children of all backgrounds, no matter their income or zip code, to meaningfully access a school of their choice. The Catholic Conference of Ohio thanks Governor Mike DeWine, Senate President Matt Huffman, and Speaker Jason Stephens for their leadership in allowing every student to receive an EdChoice Scholarship for use at one of Ohio's hundreds of Catholic or other eligible schools.

Additionally, the CCO is grateful for budget items that invest in pregnant women, children, and other vulnerable Ohioans. These include expanding the eligibility of the Ohio Works First cash assistance for a woman's entire pregnancy, eliminating sales tax for baby products, an essential provision to stabilize non-profit senior affordable housing, and a boost in pay for direct-care professionals. We look forward to supporting more policies that express closer solidarity with mothers, families, and vulnerable Ohioans, furthering a culture of life and civilization of love."

Click "Read more" for additional details.

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 Strong Foundations Act and EdChoice/Scholarship Funding

On Wednesday, May 3, the Catholic Conference of Ohio testified in support of HB7, the Strong Foundations Act which would support mothers and babies to address maternal and infant mortality and improve health and developmental outcomes. CCO stressed the importance of the family as the foundation of society and the Church’s commitment to solidarity with the marginalized which this bill upholds. Reference was also made to the Catholic Charities and programs like Walking with Moms in Need in which the Church accompanies and supports women, children, and families.  

Also, on Thursday, May 4, both CCO and Frank O’Linn, Superintendent of Catholic Schools for the Diocese of Cleveland, testified to support increased funding for scholarship programs at the Ohio Senate Education Committee hearing for House Bill 33 as the Senate considers its version of the budget. They also emphasized their support for universal school choice in SB11, which would expand eligibility for Educational Choice scholarships.

(Click Read More for Testimony Quotes) 

Catholic Conference Issues Letter to Ohio House Members Regarding the Proposed State Budget

HB 110 Under Consideration in House Finance Committee

The Ohio House is finalizing their version of the state budget, HB 110. The Ohio Senate has begun their hearings.  A balanced budget must be enacted by July 1, 2021.

The Catholic Conference of Ohio issued a letter to all House members supporting features in the current version and recommending areas for improvement. The letter called attention to the Church's strong support for programs that assist people who are poor and vulnerable, and the Church's strong support for programs that help Catholic school students.

Education Action Alert 4-16-21

Health & Human Services Recommendations
Education Recommendations

Ohio General Assembly Passes Pro-Life Legislation

Restrictions on abortion, efforts to decrease infant mortality and drug dependency, adoption assistance, summer food assistance, further help for victims of human trafficking among issues being sent to the Governor for signature

The Ohio General Assembly has passed and sent to the Governor various bills that protect and enhance human life.

Prevent Infant Mortality Ohio Website

Ohio's Infant Mortality Commission Releases Final Report

Over Fifty Recommendations Offered to Address Ohio's High Infant Mortality Rates

The number of babies born in Ohio who die before their first birthday remains unacceptably high. Ohio ranks 45th in the nation for its overall infant mortality rate—and the rate for African American (black) babies is even worse. 
        Link to the Commission on Infant Mortality
        Link to the full report