Insights: CA Legislature Proposes Thousands of New Bills, Few Will Survive

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CA Catholic Conference Closely Vetting Proposed Legislation

The California Catholic Conference (CCC) is currently reviewing more than 2,500 bills introduced by last week’s legislative deadline, despite the fact that each lawmaker will likely have only a few bills advance because of a needed focus on pandemic-related issues this legislative year.

While hundreds of bills will be on the CCC tracking chart, many of these will not even reach the hearing stage.  Many are “spot bills” without specifics but designed to be filled in with details at a later time.  Nevertheless, they must be monitored in the event they are amended.  Most will also show a “No Position” for much the same reason.  Once the bill’s details and legislative trajectory are clearer, support or opposition from the CCC will be noted.

Click here for a current list of bills the CCC is tracking

 

Funding for Eligible California Private Schools Should Be Available Soon

Catholic and other private schools will soon have the opportunity to apply for $187.4 million the state of California will be receiving as part of the federal Emergency Assistance for Non-Public Schools (EANS) funding.

The California Catholic Conference worked alongside the California Association of Private School Organizations (CAPSO) to petition the Governor’s office to apply for funding from a $2.75 billion fund for EANS established by the federal government. Schools that did not apply for the second round of Paycheck Protection Plan (PPP) loans are eligible for the funds. Once received, the state has 30 days to release an application that private schools will use to request funding for pandemic-related services, assistance, and reimbursements.

One notable difference between this and other COVID-19 related assistance programs for schools is that EANS funding bypasses Local Education Agencies (LEAs) and will be administered by the California Department of Education. In addition, the funds do not deem participants as recipients of federal financial assistance, which normally puts constraints such as Title IX restrictions on the use of the funds.  

The UCSSB has released an extensive FAQ about EANS funding that can be found here.

 

Pandemic invites us to be changed by suffering, pope tells REC 2021

In a video message to the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, Pope Francis said Thursday the suffering caused by the coronavirus pandemic is an opportunity to change and to have greater solidarity with others.

“The pandemic has marked the lives of people and the history of our communities,” the pope said Feb. 18. “Faced with this and other realities, it is necessary to build tomorrow, look to the future, and for this we need the commitment, strength and dedication of all.”

“It is necessary to act with the style of the Samaritan,” he added, “which implies letting myself be struck by what I see, knowing that suffering will change me, and I must involve myself with the suffering of the other.”

Continue Reading at AngelusNews.com

 

USCCB Opposing Federal ‘Equality Act’

Five committee chairmen of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) wrote a letter to members of Congress opposing the recent reintroduction of the Equality Act (H.R. 5), which is scheduled to be voted on by the U.S. House of Representatives this week.

The bishops warned of the threats posed by the proposed legislation to both people of faith and of no faith, with respect to mandates impacting charities and their beneficiaries in need, health care and other conscience rights, taxpayer funding of abortion, freedom of speech, women’s sports and sex-specific facilities, and more. 

The Act passed the House of Representatives yesterday afternoon and will now move to the Senate where it is expected to have a more difficult time in gaining approval.

 

Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine Likely Approved Soon

The FDA is likely to approve emergency use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine in the coming days, making three versions of the vaccine available to the public. 

Unlike its predecessors from Pfizer and Moderna, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is a single dose. It also does not require refrigeration, spurring hope that it will increase availability to communities struggling with high COVID infection rates and low vaccine availability.

The California Catholic of Bishops have recognized the Johnson & Johnson vaccine as morally acceptable and can be used in good conscience. The bishops are encouraging all to be vaccinated as soon as possible and to seek out guidance from health care professionals if they have medical questions.

 

“During the Season of #Lent, the Holy Spirit drives us too, like Jesus, into the desert (Mk 1:12-15). It is not a physical place, but rather an existential dimension in which we can be silent and listen to the word of God, so that a true conversion might be effected in us.”

-@Pontifex

 

February 26, 2021
Vol. 14, No. 8

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