Catholic Conference of Ohio
Saturday, June 15, 2024

News & Press - Catholic Conference of Ohio

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 Statement on Passage of the Ohio Senate Budget

The following statement is from Catholic Conference of Ohio Executive Director Brian Hickey on the passage of the Ohio Senate budget:

“The historic school choice expansion in the Ohio Senate budget would allow every student in Ohio to receive a scholarship to attend a school of their choice, including one of Ohio’s hundreds of Catholic schools. This expansion adheres to the Catholic Church’s teaching that parents, as the primary educators, have a fundamental right to choose a school for their children, and public authorities have the duty to guarantee this right. Ohio’s Catholic school community is grateful for the Senate leadership’s support in putting Ohio families and children first in their educational decisions.

The Catholic Conference of Ohio will ask the Conferencing Committee to keep these education provisions in the final budget and maintain provisions in the House version that address the needs of vulnerable populations, including pregnant women, seniors, and children. Public policy must promote the common good and allow all people to develop holistically, especially those needing assistance.”

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)