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Catholic Charities USA - ACTION ALERT

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The Senate has until the end of the month to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act using budget reconciliation, which only requires 50 votes to pass. With the deadline looming, the Senate is considering the Graham-Cassidy healthcare bill. The bill will have a devastating impact on the poor and vulnerable by ending the Medicaid expansion, turning much of the Medicaid program into block grants and potentially ending access to health care coverage for millions of Americans.

Your voice is needed now to urge them to insist that health care reform protects access to affordable health care coverage! 

CCUSA's work is rooted in the Church's moral and social teaching, which holds in accordance with human dignity, that health care is a basic human right. Across the country, Catholic Charities agencies provided health care-related services to more than 860,000 individuals. These agencies see firsthand the devastating consequences of inadequate health care.  They see the consequences of untreated mental illness, they work to respond to the growing opioid epidemic and they support families who are struggling to decide between paying their health care bills or paying their rent.  

Tell your senator to oppose these efforts to cut Medicaid coverage and instead to work for a health care bill which truly expands coverage, reduces costs and respects human life and dignity.


 
 
 


 

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Indiana Bishops' Statement on DACA - Action Needed

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Indiana Catholic Bishops’ Statement on the Rescission of DACA Executive Order

The Catholic Bishops of Indiana support all DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) youth and call upon Congress to act responsibly to provide protection and legal status for these young persons who are contributing to the strength and prosperity of our nation. The decision to end DACA only brings uncertainty and anxiety to families who only want to provide for themselves, their families and contribute to the common good. We join the Bishops of the United States and call upon Congress to “immediately resume work toward a legislative solution”. We also call upon all people of good will to urge Congress to provide a path of citizenship for these young persons. It is a matter not only of mercy, but of justice...  See full statement here

 

UPDATE FROM US CONFERENCE OF BISHOPS

Response from U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops on Care for Migrants and Refugees
 
WASHINGTON— September 7, 2017

The following statement has been issued by James Rogers, Chief Communications Officer for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) clarifying the USCCB position on advocacy and care for migrants and refugees. 
 
Full statement follows:
 
“It is preposterous to claim that justice for immigrants isn’t central to Catholic teaching.  It comes directly from Jesus Himself in Matthew 25, ‘For I was hungry and you gave me food…a stranger and you welcomed me.’ Immigrants and refugees are precisely the strangers we must welcome. This isn’t Catholic partisanship.  The Bible is clear: welcoming immigrants is indispensable to our faith.  
 
Caring for and about the “Dreamers” is nothing more than trying to carry out that seemingly simple, but ultimately incredibly demanding, commandment.  It is a commandment found throughout Sacred Scripture, reaching back to the Hebrew scriptures, including Leviticus, “when an alien resides with you in your land, do not mistreat such a one” (Lv. 19:33).  In fact, the Church has been pro-immigration since God called Abram to leave Ur: “Go forth from your land, your relatives, and from your father’s house to a land that I will show you” (Gn. 12:1). To suggest otherwise is absurd.
 
The witness of the Catholic bishops on issues from pro-life to pro-marriage to pro-health care to pro-immigration reforms is rooted in the Gospel of Jesus Christ rather than the convenient political trends of the day. We are called not to politics or partisanship, but to love our neighbor. Let’s reject the forces of division that insist we make a false choice between our safety and our humanity. It is both possible and morally necessary to secure the border in a manner which provides security and a humane immigration policy.
 
Our pro-immigration stance is based on fidelity to God’s word and honors the American dream. For anyone to suggest that it is out of sordid motives of statistics or financial gain is outrageous and insulting.”


 

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Justice for Immigrants

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STAND IN SUPPORT OF DREAMers
Please co-sponsor the DREAM Act of 2017 (S. 1615 / H.R. 3440)
 
 
 
STAND IN SUPPORT OF DREAMers
(Por favor lea esto en Español)

The Dream Act of 2017 (S. 1615 / HR. 3440) was recently introduced in Congress as a bipartisan effort. The bills are intended to protect immigrant youth who entered the United States as children and know America as their only home. The bills offer qualifying immigrant youth "conditional permanent resident status" and a path to full lawful permanent residency and eventual citizenship. These bills would protect numerous youth, including the over 780,000 individuals who received temporary relief from deportation and employment eligibility through the Department of Homeland Security's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

The young people S. 1615 / H.R. 3440 seeks to protect are contributors to our economy, veterans of our military, academic standouts in our universities, and leaders in our parishes and communities. As Catholics, we have long supported DREAMers as we believe in protecting the dignity of every human being, especially that of our children. 

We ask you to renew your support for DREAMers by urging your Senators to co-sponsor S. 1615 and your Member of Congress to co-sponsor H.R. 3440. You can do so by sending the following messages:  


Dear Senator, 

As a person of faith, I stand with the U.S. Catholic Bishops and write to express my strong support for the "Dream Act of 2017" (S. 1615). The young people protected by this bill are contributors to our economy, veterans of our military, academic standouts in our universities, and leaders in our parishes and communities. As Catholics, we have long supported DREAMers as we believe in protecting the dignity of every human being, especially that of our children. Among those protected by this bill are Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients, a program that has benefited over 780,000 young people. DACA has ensured that recipients are able to live their lives free of the anxiety that they could be deported at any time to a country they do not know and separated from their families. We believe immigrant youth deserve continued protection and a path to citizenship. 

I urge you to:
•    Support and co-sponsor S. 1615, the Dream Act of 2017; and
•    Continue to work towards larger legislative reform of our immigration laws. 
The faith community stands with you in support of the DREAM Act of 2017, S. 1615, and vows to work with you to reform our immigration system in a humane and common-sense manner.
Thank you.



Dear Representative, 

As a person of faith, I stand with the U.S. Catholic Bishops and write to express my strong support for the "Dream Act of 2017" (H.R. 3440). The young people protected by this bill are contributors to our economy, veterans of our military, academic standouts in our universities, and leaders in our parishes and communities. As Catholics, we have long supported DREAMers as we believe in protecting the dignity of every human being, especially that of our children. Among those protected by this bill are Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients, a program that has benefited over 780,000 young people. DACA has ensured that recipients are able to live their lives free of the anxiety that they could be deported at any time to a country they do not know and separated from their families. We believe immigrant youth deserve continued protection and a path to citizenship. 

I urge you to:
•    Support and co-sponsor HR. 3440 the Dream Act of 2017; and
•    Continue to work towards larger legislative reform of our immigration laws. 
The faith community stands with you in support of the DREAM Act of 2017, H.R. 3440, and vows to work with you to reform our immigration system in a humane and common-sense manner.
Thank you.


 

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Continuing to Support the DREAMERS

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The Dream Act of 2017, S 1615/HR 3440, was recently introduced in the Senate as a bipartisan effort. It is intended to protect immigrant youth who entered the United States as children and know America as their only home. The bill offers qualifying immigrant youth "conditional permanent resident status" and a path to full lawful permanent residency and eventual citizenship. This bill would protect numerous youth, including the estimated 780,000 individuals who received temporary relief from deportation and employment eligibility through the Department of Homeland Security's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

The young people S 1615/HR 3440 seeks to protect are contributors to our economy, veterans of our military, academic standouts in our universities, and leaders in our parishes and communities. As Catholics, we have long supported DREAMERS as we believe in protecting the dignity of every human being, especially that of our children. 


Click the link below to log in and send your message:
https://www.votervoice.net/BroadcastLinks/W7jhpfHWr5iCgX2mhJMVHw 
 
 


 

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Stand in Support of DREAMERS

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Stand in Support of DREAMERS

The Dream Act of 2017, S. 1615, was recently introduced in the Senate as a bipartisan effort. It is intended to protect immigrant youth who entered the United States as children and know America as their only home. The bill offers qualifying immigrant youth “conditional permanent resident status” and a path to full lawful permanent residency and eventual citizenship. This bill would protect numerous youth, including the estimated 780,000 individuals who received temporary relief from deportation and employment eligibility through the Department of Homeland Security's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

The young people S. 1615 seeks to protect are contributors to our economy, veterans of our military, academic standouts in our universities, and leaders in our parishes and communities. As Catholics, we have long supported DREAMERS as we believe in protecting the dignity of every human being, especially that of our children. 

We ask you to support DREAMERS by urging your Senator to co-sponsor S. 1615. 


Click the link below to log in and send your message:
https://www.votervoice.net/BroadcastLinks/9H9ovEfe0EgEhqe-pUOicw 

 

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Loss of Health Insurance Access Unacceptable

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U.S. Bishops Chairman Responds to CBO Report on Senate Health Care Bill 

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has released its score on the Senate health care bill. The score could impact how the Senate votes on the Republican plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.  As he is analyzing the full report and expects to release futher comment, Bishop Frank Dewane of Venice, Chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Domestic Justice and Humane Development Committee, has issued the following initial statement:

“The Congressional Budget Office released a report on the ‘discussion draft’ of the Senate health care proposal, indicating that millions of people could lose their health insurance over time.  This moment cannot pass without comment.  As the USCCB has consistently said, the loss of affordable access for millions of people is simply unacceptable.  These are real families who need and deserve health care.  We pray that the Senate will work in an open and unified way to keep the good aspects of current health care proposals, to add missing elements where needed, and to not place our sisters and brothers who struggle every day into so great a peril on so basic a right.

If you wish to contact Senator Joe Donnelly and Senator Tood Young you may do so by using the links provided below:

Email  Senator Donnelly
Email  Senator Young

 


1400 N. Meridian Street · Indianapolis, IN 46202
(p) 317-236-1455 (f) 317-236-1456
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Health Care Reform Bill

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The Senate is poised to consider the health care reform bill and now is the moment to let our members know that we expect life and liberty of conscience to be respected in any health care reform legislation.  The Senate may introduce a bill this week and consider it before the July 4th recess.
 
Please contact your Senators now to urge them to extend the protections of the Hyde Amendment to every relevant provision of the bill and remind them  that abortion should not be part of any health care reform legislation.   Now is also our opportunity to remind our legislators to protect the conscience rights of those who do not wish to participate in, provide or pay for abortion.    
 
There is significant pressure being put on members of the Senate to compromise on protections that must be included in the health care law. Please encourage your Senators! Make sure they understand we want and demand health care without abortion funding and with conscience protection.
 
Thank you for taking action in defense of life and liberty of conscience.


 

Click the link below to log in and send your message:
https://www.votervoice.net/BroadcastLinks/NDiQAaGA8WDdua8qp7SL8A 

 

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I-CAN Update for April 6

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A few committees got in one last meeting on Monday morning. In addition, this week brings an end to this phase of the legislative process. Each chamber has completed its review of the other's bills and passed and altered those it found worthwhile. Hence, the remaining weeks are devoted to either concurring with the changes made in the bills or working out compromises regarding the differences made by each body in conference committees.
 
House Judiciary Committee unanimously passed SB 246, Child neglect defense, authored by Senator Travis Holdman (R - Markle), and sponsored in the House by Representative Martin Carbaugh (R - Fort Wayne). SB 246 addresses concerns raised by Department of Child Services regarding baby safe devices.  The device allows a mother to surrender a baby (within 30 days of birth) should she be unable or unwilling to provide care. Although Indiana's Safe Haven law allows a parent to surrender an infant to emergency personnel; many babies are left to die rather than giving the child to someone. If anonymity is necessary, the baby safe device provides it. The bill authorizes these devices at hospitals, who voluntarily agree to host it.However, because two such devices are operational at firehouses in northwest Indiana, a second reading amendment by Representative Dave Heine (R - New Haven) passed to grandfather them and allow continued operation. The House passed the bill 92 - 4 on Thursday. Senator Holdman is expected to concur with the grandfathered devices.  ICC supports SB 246 as amended.
 
SB 404, Abortion, child abuse, and human trafficking, passed the House 75 - 23 on a bipartisan vote. It now allows judicial bypass without parental notice but does contain parental notice of a bypass request that is denied. This was the topic of debate prior to the vote. Parental rights are protected by requiring that those consenting to an abortion for an adolescent prove parentage. Also, aspects of HB 1128 are included in the bill. These include licensing requirements for abortion clinics providing RU 486 and codification of abortion reports to the state. The abortion pill reversal information (in HB 1128) was removed. The bill returns to the Senate where its author, Senator Erin Houchin (R - Salem), must decide if she and the caucus accept the changes to the bill. Concurrence is expected. ICC supports SB 404 as amended.
 
The House unanimously accepted (97 - 0) SB 154, Asset limitation for SNAP eligibility. SB 154 updates the asset test for SNAP benefits by increasing the savingsp amount to $5000 and adding prepaid funeral and burial expenses to the exemption list. The bill now returns to its author, Senator James Merritt (R - Indianapolis), to decide if the changes are acceptable. The changes are significant reducing the limit to $5000 from $10,000 and eliminating the self-attestation rather than the submitting multiple documents. While the Senate version is preferable, the House version is an improvement. We should know Senator Merritt's decision next week.  ICC supports SB 154.
 
House also passed SB 423, Sanctuary policies and postsecondary institutions, 72 -26. It returns to its author, Senator Michael Young (R - Indianapolis), for concurrence or dissent. The bill was amended in committee and removed much of the objectionable sanctions language. The amendment was vetted with Senator Young and he is expected to concur.
 
The Senate made many changes to HB 1001, Budget bill, before passing it along party lines. Along with the changes made by the Appropriations Committee, over 30 amendments were filed during second reading. Committee changes negatively affected the choice scholarship program; these included a separate line item for the choice scholarship rather than inclusion in the general tuition support budget andelimination of the escalator for the scholarship tax credit program. (It did retain the $3 million increase for the scholarship tax credit.) The line item has the potential effect of capping the program; hence, our opposition. Also, the scholarship tax credit has run out the last two fiscal years and limits the funds available to supplement the choice program. The increase is helpful but may not be sufficient to meet the donations offered. Both topics will be addressed during conference committee in the coming weeks and are important to the long term viability of the choice (voucher) program. HB 1001 passed the Senate 39 - 9.
 
In addition to the Update, you can obtain more detailed information regarding the bills, as well as detailed information about the legislative process and the Indiana General Assembly by clicking here.  You can also access the archived I-CAN Updates, ICC positions and other background information at the ICC website www.indianacc.org


 

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Pro Life Committee Art Contest

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The St. Luke Catholic Church Pro Life Committee is sponsoring an Art Contest open to all students grades 3-8 who are registered members or enrolled in the parish school.  The theme for the 2017 Art Contest is Life is a Family Affair.  Besides the love and supportive care given to a new member of the family, this also applies to parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins etcetera.  Think back about all the good things they have done for you.  None of them should be forgotten.  What kind thing could you do for one of your relatives?  Draw your idea on your art entry.
 
You may download an entry form by clicking here.  Applications will also be available in the school office and parish office.  All completed art entries should be turned in to the school office or to the parish office by Friday, April 21 at 4:00 pm.  Please contact Nancy Cummins at gcummins21@comcast.net if you have any questions about the contest.




April

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I-CAN Update for March 31

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Unless there are last minute morning hearings on Monday, committee hearings ended this week.  All committee reports must pass the floor this coming Monday afternoon.  Committees were busy this week; all bills must pass respective houses by next Thursday.
 
Although the Senate Judiciary Committee did not hear HB 1128, Abortion matters, the House Public Policy Committee amended major parts of it into SB 404, Abortion, child abuse and human trafficking.  It removed the abortion pill reversal portion but included abortion facilities' licensing and reporting information.  In addition, SB 404, as amended excludes the parental notice of all judicial bypass requests.  This feature drew the most opposition and the threat of a court challenge.  Contact your legislator here.
 
The bill still contains provisions that strengthen parental rights and protects adolescents from exploitation.  The proposed law increases the age for reporting child sex abuse to age 16 from age 14 and it requires adults to prove parentage in giving consent for an abortion on a girl younger than 18 years of age.  Because of changes to SB 404, the Senate will have to concur or convene a conference committee to resolve all acceptable changes.

Despite assurances that SB 9, SNAP and drug convictions, would be heard; we learned early this week it would not be considered.  Chairman David Frizzell (R - Indianapolis) reported that leadership asked that it not go further and that drug related bills this year would concentrate on treatment and rehabilitation.  This is disappointing because SB 9 would help with addiction and released prisoner rehabilitation.  Because the bill passed the Senate it is eligible for inclusion in another bill in conference committee, however, because of leadership position this is unlikely.
 
As expected, SB 154, Asset limitations for SNAP, was amended and passed House Family, Children and Human Affairs Committee 7 - 0.  The amendment reduced the asset limit from $10,000 to $5,000 and only provides prepaid funeral and burial expenses as exempt from the limitation.  The bill is reduced from the preferred Senate version.  The bill is expected to pass the House next week.  House will have to concur or dissent on the changes.
 
House Judiciary Committee amended SB 423, Sanctuary policies and postsecondary educational institutions, to eliminate the unnecessary restrictions and penalties for universities.  Universities now must comply with Indiana Code prohibiting sanctuary policies in the same manner as Indiana cities and towns. SB 423 will be on third reading on Monday.  It returns to the Senate for concurrence or dissent.  Senate is expected to concur.

HB 1024, Prayer in schools, passed third reading in the Senate 44-5 today. The bill now goes to the House for concurrence or dissent.
 
HB 1004, Pre-kindergarten education, also passed third reading in the Senate 38-11 today and now goes to the House for concurrence or dissent.  We expect the House to dissent and the bill to be a topic for conference committee consideration.

In addition to the Update, you can obtain more detailed information regarding the bills, as well as detailed information about the legislative process and the Indiana General Assembly by clicking here.  You can also access the archived I-CAN Updates, ICC positions and other background information at the ICC website www.indianacc.org

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