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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 13, 2016 Because We Are Catholic, Publications

A controversial law – opposed by both political parties – went into effect last week. Instead of devising compassionate, informed and dignified end-of-life treatment, patients can now ask their physicians to prescribe a lethal dose of drugs instead.

Doctors, nurses, and other health care professionals and organizations – recognizing the fundamental shift in patient care this law entails – have announced they will not participate.  Instead, they are recommitting to better end-of-life care, better education for patients and families, and a better overall approach to treatment at the end of life.

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 MFG Repealed in Final Budget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 10, 2016 Because We Are Catholic, Publications

The phone always seemed to ring in the middle of night. “Can you take just one more? It will just be for one night.” The answer was always yes then cookies and milk was set out.

The children were often petrified when they arrived at the door.  But a loving smile, a nice bed, clean pajamas and a bedtime story calmed their fears.

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.

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