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Iowa Catholic Conference Capitol Update

Work is slowing down at the Iowa Capitol because the House and Senate have differing approaches on some issues. For example, the House has passed several departmental budget bills, but the Senate has not yet taken up any of them.


As the end of the legislative session approaches, we encourage you to make your voice heard to legislators. The ICC is continuing its work in support of parental choice in education and the “Iowa MOMS” bill. Other matters we’re working on include opposition to cashless gambling and unemployment benefit cuts. You can click here for our action alerts and sample messages to legislators.


The “Iowa MOMS” bill, Senate File 2381 passed the Senate last week on a 32-16 vote and goes to the House. All Republicans plus two Democrats voted yes.


The bill includes $1 million for crisis pregnancy centers/nonprofit agencies’ services to pregnant women in such areas as nutrition, housing and employment assistance, child care as well as material items. Fourteen states have similar programs. The legislation would also extend Medicaid eligibility for pregnant women from 60 days postpartum to 12 months postpartum.


Two bills supported by the Iowa Catholic Conference were approved by the Senate and sent to the governor. Senate File 577 passed by a vote of 46-0. It provides for the availability of birth certificates for “non-viable” children to parents who have suffered a miscarriage. Legislation creating penalties for elder abuse, Senate File 522, also passed the Senate unanimously.


Father Raphael Assamah, now pastor at St. Theresa Church in Des Moines, was honored as an “official Iowan” in a resolution by the Iowa House of Representatives for his dedication and service to the residents of Hamburg during the floods of 2019. A group of parishioners traveled to Des Moines to watch the passage of the resolution. You can check out our Facebook page for some photos.


SIGN UP NOW FOR RELIGIOUS LIBERTY SYMPOSIUM


As of press time, there’s still room for you at next week’s symposium on religious liberty being held at Drake University in Des Moines.


The event, “Freedom To Serve: Why Religion Is Vital in a Pluralistic Society,” is set for April 19. It is being co-sponsored by the Diocese of Des Moines, along with local congregations of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the organizers of Iowa Religious Freedom Day, and Drake Bulldog Catholic. There are afternoon sessions and Bishop William Joensen of Des Moines will be hosting the evening panel.


You can sign up at https://iafreedomtoserve.eventbrite.com. Campus parking passes will be provided to registered attendees.


AND FINALLY,


We pray you have a blessed Holy Week!


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