Catholic Conference of Ohio
Tuesday, June 15, 2021

News & Press - Catholic Conference of Ohio

Conference Testifies on Pending State Legislation

Public Assistance, Immigration, and Education Issues Addressed

The Conference testified on the following legislation:

Sub SB 17: Placing additional requirements for receiving public assistance benefits.  Testimony

HB 75: Possible amendment denying workers' compensation to undocumented workers.  Testimony  

HB 110: Education provisions in the budget impacting Catholic schools and students.  Testimony

Ohio House Adds Additional Funding for Programs Helping Catholic School Students

Auxiliary Services and Administrative Cost Reimbursement Programs Increased

The Ohio House Finance Committee added additional support for two programs helping Catholic school students. The House Ominbus Amendment increased GRF appropriation for nonpublic administrative cost reimbursement by $816,000 in FY22 and $1.6 million in FY23. It also increased the maximum per-pupil amount of administrative cost reimbursement payments to nonpublic schools for each of FY22 and FY23 from $466 to $475.

The amendment also increased GRF appropriation to Auxiliary Services  by $1.8 million in FY22 and $3.65 million in FY23. 

The full House is expected to pass this substitute version of the budget bill (HB 110).  Action and advacacy will now occur in the Ohio Senate.  Emphasis will be upon maintaining gains made in the House version, while encouraging improvements in the EdChoice programs, school transportation, and funding for housing and hunger programs. A balanced budget must be enacted by July 1, 2021.

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

Urge Senators Portman and Brown to prioritize the poor and vulnerable in the next COVID-19 relief package

Final days of negotiations on a COVID-19 relief bill

Families and individuals are facing immediate hardships: rent is due, food prices are rising, layoffs continue, access to healthcare is being lost, and those who are most vulnerable in the criminal justice system are not being adequately protected from the coronavirus. As followers of Christ, we are called to create a society where the needs of the poor and vulnerable are always considered first. Tell your Senators to act now to support those who are poor and vulnerable during this pandemic.
 

Care for the Poor and Vulnerable Urged in Further Consideration of COVID-19 Relief Legislation

U.S. Bishops send numerous letters to Congress

 Archbishop Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, wrote:

"...As Congress turns once more to considering additional relief related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the focus should be on those most in need—the poor, the vulnerable, and people on the margins—to offer them some hope and assistance in desperate circumstances. Since early April, some of my brother bishops and I have sent five letters to express this touchstone principle to Congress and its various committees..."

Bishop Chairmen Issue Statement on Rationing Protocols by Health Care Professionals in Response to Covid-19

Recent news reports have highlighted policies and practices relating to rationing protocols in response to the COVID-19 virus, prompting a response by three committee chairmen of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades of Fort Wayne-South Bend, chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Doctrine, Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City in Kansas, chairman of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities, and Archbishop Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City, chairman of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development.

Principles and guidelines

Catholic Health Association of the United States
Catholic Medical Association
National Association of Catholic Nurses-USA
National Catholic Bioethics Center

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)

 

U. S. Bishops Approve Additions to Teaching Document on Political Responsibility

A short introductory letter and five short video scripts approved to supplement "Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship"

An introductory letter  addressing current issues of the day and references to the teachings of Pope Francis was approved by USCCB to supplement  the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' existing document, Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship. The letter affirms the "richness" that our faith brings to the public square, and addresses challenges that have become more pronounced:

"Pope Francis has continued to draw attention to important issues such as migration, xenophobia, racism, abortion, global conflict, and care for creation. In the United States and around the world, many challenges demand our attention.

The threat of abortion remains our preeminent priority because it directly attacks life itself, because it takes place within the sanctuary of the family, and because of the number of lives destroyed. At the same time, we cannot dismiss or ignore other serious threats to human life and dignity such as racism, the environmental crisis, poverty and the death penalty."

Introductory Letter

Introductory Letter References to Pope Francis' Apostolic Exhortation Rejoice and Be Glad #25, #101

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 Passes Budget Bill

Bill Receives Strong Bipartisan Support

Substitute HB 166 as passed by House

Comparison Document

Catholic Conference of Ohio Budget Backgrounder for the Senate

Catholic Conference of Ohio Budget Page 

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