Public Policy

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March 2019 Update

From the New York State Catholic Conference:

The Recreational Marijuana Legalization bill would have a negative impact on society. The negative consequences would include increased teenage and childhood use, which has harmful effects on developing brains, progression to harder drug use and addiction, and an increase in impairment-related transportation accidents and deaths. The Catholic Church is not prohibitionist but believes that the government should not encourage destructive behavior or the normalization of use that the bill would encourage. The passage of this bill would increase revenues for the state. The Catholic Conference opposes this bill.

Maintain the ban on Surrogacy. This issue was brought to your attention a few months ago but now the Governor has included language in his budget proposal and a bill is in the Assembly. Take action by visiting www.nyscatholic.org and let your legislators hear from you.

Thank you for your advocacy.

On the federal side:

From Catholic Charities, USA:

Congressional leaders are continuing negotiations on the size and scope of a disaster aid package. The focus of the debate remains whether the aid should be targeted toward only 2018 disasters or include additional aid for Puerto Rico and the other states still recovering from the disasters in 2017. The need to pass an aid package has been exacerbated by the fact that Puerto Rico is on the verge of running out of food assistance combined with the recent tornadoes that ravaged Alabama and Georgia. Without a disaster aid package passing, 1.4 million Puerto Ricans enrolled in the Nutrition Assistance for Puerto Rico (NAP) program are at risk of having reduced nutrition assistance. The NAP program is provided to Puerto Rico as a block grant which differs from the mandatory spending in the U.S. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Negotiations of the aid package remain ongoing.

Last Wednesday, the House Judiciary Committee held a hearing entitled “Protecting Dreamers and TPS Recipients.” The hearing included testimony from a DACA and TPS recipients and other key witnesses, including Bishop Mario Dorsonville, Auxiliary Bishop of Washington. The witnesses shared their collective experiences with the congressional committee and the value and importance of having a just immigration system. Let’s hope that Congress is listening and will find a bipartisan solution to immigration reform.

Thank you for your advocacy.
Marie Copeland and Sheila Morris Barnes, Co-­‐chairs