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Insights: May Budget Revise Offers Gains; Catholic Advocacy Day Reports Available

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May 19, 2017

Governor’s Revised Budget Includes Several Catholic Conference Priorities

The California Catholic Conference (CCC) was pleased to see that Governor Jerry Brown included new appropriations for several CCC priorities in his May budget revise. The newly proposed budget for the 2017-2018 fiscal year now includes funding for palliative care programs, early childhood education, retention of several beneficial programs and expanded funding for immigration related services.

A most welcome and notable change is the new inclusion of $1.3 million for the implementation of a Palliative Care Services program for Medi-Cal recipients, mandated to take effect no later than January 1, 2018. The CCC has worked to ensure that palliative care resources are available that show compassion and human value. The CCC will continue to advocate to expand support and funding for palliative care programs.

Also of great importance is the additional $15 million for immigration services funding, for a total of $30 million in the state’s General Fund, to further expand the availability of legal services for people seeking naturalization services or assistance in securing other legal immigration status.

As advocated by the CCC, Governor Brown restored the addition of 2,959 state preschool spots originally planned for 2018.  

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Catholic Advocacy Day Reports Highlight Meetings with Lawmakers

Late last month, close to 100 Catholics from throughout the state gathered in Sacramento to meet with lawmakers and gain perspective on several key bills that focused on “Our Children, Our Priority,” – the theme for this year’s Catholic Advocacy Day. They were joined by many others around the state who sent emails to their elected representatives.

A central element of Catholic Advocacy Day is communication back to Catholic Legislative Network members about how their elected representatives plan to vote on a certain issue. 

The 2017 Catholic Advocacy Day reports are now available for you to assess where lawmakers stand on the bills discussed and other information relevant to the meeting.

While most meetings took place with legislative staff, several members stopped in to greet our advocates. (See related vignettes from the delegates.)

“This was the best visit I've ever had. We started out with Kathleen, the chief of staff, but Assemblyman Matt Dababneh came in after he finished testifying. He was very attentive and actually honestly seemed happy to see us. (So different than last year.) He even asked for a picture,” wrote one advocate.

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National Catholic Pledge to End the Death Penalty

Catholic Mobilizing Network has started an online pledge to educate, advocate and pray for the end of the use of the death penalty.

According to Pope Francis, “All Christians and people of good will are thus called today to fight not only for the abolition of the death penalty, whether legal or illegal, and in all its forms, but also in order to improve prison conditions, with respect for the human dignity of the people deprived of their freedom.”

The death penalty represents the failure of our modern society to fulfill the theological and moral demands of justice. Justice demands that society begin with the recognition that each human person is created in the image and likeness of God and must work in all its endeavors towards the benefit of the human person. The use of the death penalty denies our call to true discipleship.

Click here to sign the pledge and ensure your support for these life-saving works.

 

Local Catholic Charities Improve Access to Healthcare

Research shows that increasing access to healthcare reduces poverty. ¹ Reducing poverty in California is a priority for Catholic Charities of California and Local Catholic Charities Organizations. For decades, Local Catholic Charities Organizations have assisted lower-income Californians to enroll in health coverage and access essential health services.

Research also shows that each year, thousands of eligible Californians would not enroll in coverage without the kind of assistance that Catholic Charities organizations provide. Most commonly, eligible Californians do not enroll in health coverage because of confusion or fears about the application process.

Local Catholic Charities organizations reach out to eligible Californians in community settings. Catholic Charities staff provide accurate, easy to understand information about Medi-Cal and Covered California health coverage. Catholic Charities staff also supports applicants throughout the enrollment process, from start to finish.

In 2016, a new State law has made undocumented minors eligible for full Medi-Cal coverage. As trusted community organizations, Catholic Charities successfully engage undocumented youth, many of who are wary or unaware of the new law, and assist them to complete the enrollment process.

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ICYMI: California Bishops Offer Mother’s Day Statement on Immigration

The California Catholic Bishops offered the following statement in advance of last week’s Mother’s Day celebrations, to call attention to the struggles and realities facing immigration communities:

During this week of Mother’s Day celebrations in the United States and Mexico, the enduring bonds of family will light up social media, overload telephone lines, and overflow many dining tables as children text, call, FaceTime, present home-made cards, feast, offer bouquets, and thank their mothers for their lifetime of labor and love.  The wisdom of the fourth commandment, to honor thy father and mother, is on display as children use all means of transportation and communication to be close to the ones who gave them life. 

Humanity begins in the environment of the family.  Each man and woman sees oneself as part of a family.  It is the primordial, essential human network.  The family is the basic unit of society.  Every family is also called to be a domestic church where children learn to lift their eyes to a merciful God and extend to their hands to all those who are the children of God, no matter their race, color, or creed. 

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May 19, 2017
Vol. 10, No. 18