Public Policy

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June 2020 Update

From the NYS Catholic Conference: (Recap of the legislative session)

Physician Assisted Suicide

This bill did not pass. This bill would allow terminally ill patients to receive life-ending drugs. These policies are dangerous for patients, caregivers and vulnerable people who are disabled. Suicide is not medical care. The Catholic Conference continues to oppose this bill.

Gestational Surrogacy

This bill has passed. The bill would enable the buying and selling of children and the exploitation of women for their eggs and their wombs. It would lead to an increased reliance on IVF and destruction of human embryos. The Catholic Conference opposed this bill.

The legalization of recreational marijuana bill did not pass. The Catholic Conference continues to oppose this bill.

The composting of human bodies did not pass. (Pulverizing of human bodies.) The Catholic Conference continues to oppose this bill.

The “3 for 5” proposal did not pass. This bill would have provided 3% increases for the next 5 years for workers providing services in non-for- profit agencies to vulnerable populations. The Catholic Conference supported this bill.

Emergency contraception on college campuses is still being considered. The Catholic Conference opposes this bill.

The Medicaid Beyond Pregnancy bill would extend Medicaid coverage for women for a full year after having given birth, pending federal financial participation. This legislation would change the current 60 day period of Medicaid coverage following childbirth to one year. This bill is stalled. The Catholic Conference supports this bill. {NOTE} {If a mother did not have Medicaid prior to pregnancy would the mother be eligible for Medicaid after the birth of the baby within the one year 5me frame – yes, the coverage would apply if there was change in circumstance, such as a financial change.}

Thank you for your advocacy. Visit nyscatholic.org “TakeAction” to make your voice heard on several issues on the NYS Bishops’ agenda.

From AARP:

Protect the health and rights of nursing home residents. Tell your lawmakers to uphold the health and human rights of nursing home residents and their families during the pandemic and to reject any proposal that allows nursing homes to avoid legal accountability related to COVID-19. Visit AARP.org/advocacy to send an email to your federal representatives.

From USSCB:

Demand a COVID-19 Vaccine Free from Abortion: Some of the vaccines currently in development are being produced using old cell lines that were created from the cells of aborted babies. There is NO NEED to further exploit the bodies of aborted children as other cell lines or processes that do not involve cells from abortions are available. Urge the Trump administration to make sure that vaccines for COCID-19 are developed ethically and are free from any connection to the exploitation of abortion.  Go to USCCB.org/Issues then “Take Action”

Catholic Schools Need Our Help: With economic devastation facing many families across the country, abrupt unemployment and lost income has meant families are unable to make tuition payments to sustain their schools. Also, without Sunday collections, parishes which normally provide financial support to keep tuition affordable cannot assist at this time. Ask Congress to provide emergency aid to Catholic schools and families in the next COVID-19 legislation package, including equitable access to K-12 federal funds for Catholic schools, direct funding to families for tuition payments, and tax breaks for K-12 tuition payments. Go to USCCB.org/Issues then “Take Action”

From USCCB/JFI:

Send an email to your Senators urging them to pass additional COVID-19 relief action legislation* but to include immigrants and refugees who have largely been excluded from assistance, particularly **DACA recipients, TPS holders, and essential workers. Go to JFI.org/ActionCenter

From Bread for the World:

Call 800/826-3688 or write your senators and representatives urging them to increase SNAP benefits by 15%; to fully fund the international response to the coronavirus pandemic with an additional $12 billion; and to expand and extend the EBT program so families can buy food for their children during the summer months. Visit bread.org/COVID-19

*Congress continues to negotiate additional assistance to help people dealing with the impact of the coronavirus. The House passed the HEROES Act (HR 6800) but it remains stalled in the Senate. Congress did pass a bill to increase flexibility for the Payment Protection Program. This bill increases the amount of time small businesses and nonprofits have to spend the money from 8 weeks to 24 weeks and lowers the amount of the loan required to be spent on payroll to 60% from 75%. The President has not signed the bill yet but is expected to sign it.

**The Supreme Court has not yet released a decision for DACA recipients. Catholic Charities, USA and Justice for Immigrants are monitoring this situation.

(compiled as of 6/9/20)

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