Iowa Catholic Conference Newsletter, Feb. 14, 2021

The Iowa House has passed a couple of bills supported by the ICC and sent them to the Senate. House File 302 establishes a graduated eligibility phase-out for state child care assistance to prevent the “cliff effect.” This helps address the problem when a person starts making more money and loses all of their child care assistance, resulting in a net loss of income. The House also passed a phased-in 100% increase in the tax credit for adoptions - from $5,000 to $10,000 (House File 369).


LAST WEEK’S COMMITTEE ACTION


  • Senate File 339 has passed the Senate Judiciary Committee. The bill requires businesses to use the voluntary federal e-verify system to confirm the eligibility of their employees to work in the United States. The ICC has opposed the bill in part because it is likely people would lose their jobs unjustly or not be able to be hired because of errors in the system. The ICC has also supported leaving federal immigration enforcement issues to the federal government.

  • One of our legislative priorities, Senate Joint Resolution 2, has passed the Senate State Government Committee. It would clarify that there is no right to abortion to be found in the state Constitution. The proposal seems on track to be debated in the Senate and reconciled with the House version.

  • House File 452 was approved by the House Judiciary Committee. An identical bill, Senate File 246, passed a Senate subcommittee. The purpose of the bills is to provide authorities with additional resources to complete investigations of trafficking in humans. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops runs a program of community-based support services for survivors of human trafficking.

  • The Senate Labor and Business Relations Committee unanimously approved Senate Study Bill 1030, which requires employers to treat employees who adopt a child in the same manner of a biological child for the purposes of employment policies. The ICC supports the bill.

  • House Study Bill 171 passed a House Local Government subcommittee. It’s an identical bill to SF 252, which has already passed the Senate Local Government Committee. The ICC opposes the bill, which would allow landlords to reject renters only on the basis of paying rent with federal “Section 8” housing voucher assistance.

  • Senate File 308 passed the Senate Human Resources Committee. It would provide the possibility of parents receiving a certificate for nonviable birth. This would help some families who have suffered a miscarriage with their healing process.


OPPOSE THE DEATH PENALTY


The bill to restore the death penalty has not yet been passed by the Senate Judiciary Committee. Please contact your Senator in opposition. The Iowa Legislature abolished the death penalty in 1965.


COMING UP AT THE STATE CAPITOL


At press time, subcommittee meetings are scheduled this week for:

  • House File 337 – providing for a review of life sentences for possible commutation. (Support)

  • Senate Study Bill 1125 – creates new verification system for several public assistance programs. We believe that the target for welfare reform should be poverty itself. Putting up additional barriers for people to receive benefits – even for those for qualify – does not accomplish that goal. (Oppose)

  • Senate Study Bill 1172 – Adds a waiting period for unemployment benefits and lower benefits for workers with bigger families. (Oppose)

  • House File 442 – protections for mobile home park residents (Support)


AND FINALLY,


You can visit our ICC Action Center anytime and send a message to your Senator or Representative, or even the governor, on any issue you’d like. Put in your ZIP code to start.


Stay warm!


5 views

Recent Posts

See All

Iowa Catholic Conference Update, June 10, 2021

HYDE AMENDMENT If you have a few minutes, the bishops could use your help with advocacy that is needed to ensure the Hyde Amendment is maintained in the federal budget. Without the Hyde Amendment and