Public Policy


June 2019 Update

From the New York State Catholic Conference:

A major issue for the Catholic Church is support for the Farm Worker’s Fair Practices Act which would address the right to collectively bargain and the right to overtime pay.

The Church strongly opposes legislation to legalize commercial gestational surrogacy which would permit contractual arrangement for surrogate mothers who under this law would have no biological connection to the child.

On May 14, the Senate Republicans attempted to attach a “born alive” abortion provision onto another bill. The measure was defeated on a procedural vote along party lines. The provision would have ensured that when a baby is born alive during an abortion the baby must be kept alive. Unfortunately, the previous protection for “a born alive baby” was removed from the New York State law by the passing of the Reproductive Health Act in January.

Governor Cuomo and advocates for the Recreational Marijuana bill may continue to work for passage of the bill in the 2019 legislative session that will conclude on June 19.

Proponents of Physician Assisted Suicide continue to work for the passage of that bill. In addition to many religious organizations and advocates for disabled and senior citizens, the New York Medical Society confirmed its opposition to the measure.

Another matter under consideration at this time by the Legislature and opposed by the Church and several women’s organizations is legalized prostitution.

To voice your opinion on any issues, go to The Catholic Action Network (CAN) which can be found on the New York State Catholic Conference’s website On the website click on “Take Action” and then click on “Latest Action Alerts.”

On the Federal side:

From Catholic Charities USA:

President Trump signed the $19.1 billion disaster aid bill on June 6. It includes $600 million in nutrition assistance and $304 million in Community Development Block Grant Funding for Puerto Rico. It also provides $4.6 billion for reimbursement to farmers who lost crops and livestock and assistance to rural communities to rebuild after numerous floods, storms and other natural disasters.

The House passed an immigration bill, HR 6, the American Dream and Promise Act of 2019. The Bill would grant potential citizenship to 2.5 million unauthorized immigrants. It provides legal status and a pathway to citizenship for 2.1 million eligible undocumented young adults known as Dreamers. The bill would also provide immigrants participating in the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) programs a pathway toward citizenship. Hopefully the Senate will follow the House in passing a just immigration bill.

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