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Public Policy Insights

July 8, 2016 Public Policy Insights, Publications

Ballot Measures Finalized for November Election

As widely anticipated, California voters will be asked to pass judgment on a variety of ballot measures on the November 2016 ballot.  Seventeen questions – ranging from ending the use of the death penalty to extending taxes to recreational marijuana use – have qualified.

July 6, 2016 Public Policy Insights, Publications

Feds Refuse to Rule on California’s Abortion Mandate

After almost two years of little or no activity, the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service (HHS) has ruled that the Bishops of California and others filing complaints do not have standing to object to a California agency mandating that religious organizations and individuals pay for all abortions in their managed health care plans.

June 17, 2016 Public Policy Insights, Publications

Lawmakers Approve Budget, On to Governor

Every year, the State Budget process is a long campaign that begins in January and is followed by months of negotiations, lobbying and revisions. The lengthy and commonly contentious process ultimately ends up with controversial issues being negotiated or decided by the “Big Three” – the Governor and Democratic majority leaders in both legislative houses.  Republican leaders are part of the Conference Committee process but because of the simple majority vote needed to approve the Budget, their influence is greatly diminished.

June 10, 2016 Public Policy Insights, Publications

Congratulations! MFG Repealed in Final Budget

Late Thursday afternoon, a budget deal was announced that repeals the Maximum Family Grant (MFG) rule, provides additional funding for naturalization and other immigration services and funds teacher empowerment and recruitment items as well as additional early childhood education.

June 3, 2016 Public Policy Insights, Publications

California Legalizes Assisted Suicide Next Week

On June 9, 2016, in what the Bishops of California have called a “travesty of compassion,” physicians in California will legally be allowed to prescribe a lethal dose of drugs to a patient.

Despite bi-partisan opposition and being defeated in the regular legislative session, the End-of-Life Option Act was passed in a special, abbreviated session with limited hearings and altered committee membership.

May 27, 2016 Public Policy Insights, Publications

Faith Leaders Ask State to Help Women

The repeal of the CalWORKs Maximum Family Grant (MFG) rule has garnered bi-partisan support in both Assembly and Senate Budget negotiations.   The repeal will probably come down to convincing the Governor of the need and importance to California low-income families. 

May 13, 2016 Public Policy Insights, Publications

Catholic Advocacy Day Builds Relationships, Accountability

“We left with a sense of support and being heard,” said Armando Cervantes, a delegate to Catholic Advocacy Day from the Diocese of Orange.

That sense of empowerment and type of encounter is not uncommon for people who take part in the annual event in Sacramento organized by the California Catholic Conference.  This year, nearly 50 lawmakers and their staff in Sacramento received delegations from arch/dioceses across the state.

May 6, 2016 Public Policy Insights, Publications

May Revise Expected Next Week

The May Revise is an update to Gov. Brown’s January budget proposal that incorporates actual revenue and expense data from the first months of 2016. It is expected late next week.

The California Catholic Conference is hoping that some items we are watching will be addressed in this revise.  If not, we will work to have them included in the final legislative budget to be passed by June 30.

April 29, 2016 Public Policy Insights, Publications

Busy Weeks at the Capitol

For the past few weeks, committees in the California Legislature were furiously working through hundreds of fiscally-related bills to meet their April 22 legislative deadline.  Non-fiscal bills have until May 6 to pass out of their respective policy committees.

If state funds are available or approved for the specific program(s), then a bill will move to the floor of its house of origin to be debated and voted on by members of that house. Then it will go through the process all over again in the other house. 

April 22, 2016 Public Policy Insights, Publications

Catholics Advocating for Life and Dignity Issues

Tuesday morning started very early for some dedicated advocates.  Traveling from all over the state to Sacramento, almost every diocese in California was represented at the Capitol for the annual Catholic Advocacy Day.

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