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Repercussions and Questions Accompany Fast-Paced Changes in California and the Nation

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July 2, 2015

Many of us will be enjoying a well-deserved three-day weekend so this edition of Public Policy Insights will be brief.  Mostly, we want to give you a quick update on important developments and what to expect for next week.

California Legislation

As the legislature rushes toward its summer recess beginning July 17, several significant debates will be held next week in Sacramento.  Two are particularly important:

On Tuesday, the Assembly Health Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing on the physician-assisted suicide bill, SB 128 (Wolk, D-Davis).  Supporters have already postponed the hearing once because they did not have the votes but – for practical legislative reasons – the Health Committee hearing is a key moment in the debate and could mark the end of the line for SB 128. 

We need to keep letting our representatives know that we disagree with this dangerous legislation.  You can Take Action now and we’ll also issue an alert on Monday to the entire Catholic Legislative Network.  Thank you to the thousands of you who continue to email and call their representatives.

The mislabeled AB 775 Reproductive FACT (Freedom, Accountability, Comprehensive Care, and Transparency) Act (Chiu, D-San Francisco), would discriminate against any and all pregnancy centers and clinics that hold a pro-life viewpoint. The bill can come up for a vote on the Assembly Floor at any time.  We have already issued several Action Alerts on this unconstitutional measure but please continue to voice your opposition here.

Supreme Court Decisions

A barrage of significant news began last week when the U.S. Supreme Court issued two landmark rulings at the end of its term: 

First, on Thursday the U.S. Supreme Court issued its ruling on the legality of the subsidies in the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  The case carried great significance for the viability of “Obamacare” even in states that run their own exchanges such as California.  Read why in Examining the U.S. Supreme Court Ruling on the Affordable Care Act.

Then, on Friday, the Court redefined marriage in an extraordinarily sweeping 5-4 decision that will have repercussions in all areas of society and culture.  In our analysis we look at how the ruling threatens religious liberty and the right to self-government.  And you can read statements from California Bishops on the ruling.

Lastly, the effort to replace the statute of Fr. Junipero Serra in Statuary Hall ended when Sen. Joint Resolution 4 was placed on the inactive file: 

“We are grateful to Senator Lara for referring his resolution, SJR4, that proposed replacing the statue of Fray Serra in Statuary Hall in DC, to the Assembly inactive file,” said California Catholic Conference Executive Director Edward “Ned” Dolejsi.  “It recognizes that all of our attention right now is focused on the first visit to the United States of Pope Francis and the upcoming canonization of Fr. Junipero Serra on Sept. 23.”

The Staff of the California Catholic Conference wishes you a pleasant Independence Day holiday.  Enjoy the picnics and fireworks and thank you for being a voice for life and dignity in California!