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Insights: Legislature Breaks for Recess; Prop. 57 Regulation Comment Period Begins

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July 21, 2017

Legislature Recesses for Summer After Active Week

The Legislature has officially recessed for the summer this week, but not before moving on a key piece of environmental legislation.

On Monday, lawmakers gave a bi-partisan nod of approval to AB 398 (Garcia, D-Coachella), the extension of the state’s cap-and-trade program through the year 2030. The program aims to slash emissions by requiring entities to purchase permits to release greenhouse gases. The program’s renewal was a key priority for Governor Brown.

AB 398’s win for environmental stewardship falls in line with Laudato Si, Pope Francis’ encyclical on ecology and climate change. Ladauto Si identifies climate change and pollution as modern pressing ecological challenge, and extending cap-and-trade directly addresses those challenges to create a climate “for the common good, belonging to all and meant for all.”

The California Catholic Conference (CCC) is closely monitoring SB 54 (de León, D – Los Angeles), which would prohibit state and local law enforcement agencies from using resources for immigration enforcement. The bill stalled in the Appropriations Committee and will likely be taken up upon the Legislature’s return. 

AB 569 (Gonzales Fletcher, D – San Diego), the bill targeting religious employers’ ability to enforce codes of conduct, also remains in the Appropriations Committee where it will be taken up on August 21st, the day the Legislature returns from summer recess.

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Prop 57 Regulations Comment Period Open

Last Friday, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) released their proposed Regular Regulations for the implementation of last November’s Prop 57 and the comment period to respond to those regulations began.

The general public has the ability to weigh in during the 45-day written public comment period, which ends September 1, 2017, at 5:00pm. There will also be a public hearing on September 1, 2017, from 9:00am-12:00pm in Sacramento. Click here to sign up if you’d like to attend.

The proposed Regular Regulations are unchanged from the Emergency Regulations released back in March. The heart of Proposition 57 is incentivizing people in prison to rehabilitate. This is an appropriate description because it touches on every articulated purpose: rewarding rehabilitation with the possibility of earlier release, protecting and enhancing public safety; preventing the likelihood of indiscriminate release of prisoners by a federal court; reducing wasteful spending on prisons, and by emphasizing rehabilitation, the revolving door of crime will be stopped.

The California Catholic Conference (CCC) will be advocating for access to rehabilitation programming and space to create that programming, encouraging credits for involvement including crime survivors, and awarding credits for inmates who participate in religious programs. These elements are critical in ensuring the greatest success of the program.

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USCCB Chair Expresses Ongoing Support for DACA

Over 750,000 youth have received protection from Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) since its inception by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in 2012. While DACA provides no legal status, it does provide recipients with a temporary reprieve from deportation and employment authorization for legal work opportunities in the United States.

In response to the recent petition to the U.S. Department of Justice to terminate DACA, Bishop Joe S. Vásquez, Chair of the Migration Committee and Bishop of Austin, Texas, expressed support for DACA once again, stating:

"The Catholic Bishops have long supported DACA youth and continue to do so. DACA youth are contributors to our economy, veterans of our military, academic standouts in our universities, and leaders in our parishes.

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 RestoreJustice.com Undergoes Updates

The CCC is pleased to report that RestoreJustice.com now contains updated features that include a wall of remembrance for victims and widgets to make regular chaplain program donations even easier as well as improved navigation features.

The site still includes updated employment opportunities and other chaplain information.

All are invited to add a name to the Wall of Remembrance. Please email dmcdermott@cacatholic.org for more information.

 

Summer Youth Programs: Breaking the Cycle of Poverty

According to a study from John Hopkins University, low-income children can lose up to two months of their reading abilities during the summer break. This is in contrast to middle and high-income children who report reading gains during the summer months. Children who are already behind and struggling with literacy can’t afford to lose any gains in their reading achievement made during the school year.

Each summer, Catholic Charities youth programs in San Rafael, San Francisco, and East Palo Alto are working to ensure that the “summer slide” does not become a reality for children like Evelini who came to Catholic Charities last summer looking for a safe place to learn and grow.

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Public Policy Insights will have an extended publication schedule while the Legislature is on summer recess. Please look for our next issue on August 4.

July 21, 2017
Vol. 10, No. 25

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