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Insights: MFG Repealed, Unwelcomed Threshold Crossed

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June 10, 2016

Congratulations! MFG Repealed in Final Budget

Late Thursday afternoon, a budget deal was announced that repeals the Maximum Family Grant (MFG) rule, provides additional funding for naturalization and other immigration services and funds teacher empowerment and recruitment items as well as additional early childhood education.

Authorization to purchase lethal drugs for Medi-Cal patients, while receiving no support from Assembly budget negotiators, is still apparently included albeit at a reduced rate as the program is “phased in.”  Fortunately, funding for an assisted-suicide “hotline” was not included in the final budget.

Also missing is discussion on the future for the Earned Income Tax Credit, the bipartisan effort that has been shown to be one of the most effective tools in the arsenal fighting poverty.

Support from Catholic Legislative Network members helped turn the corner on repeal of the MFG Rule – a multi-year effort involving a diverse coalition of supports. 

California has been one of the few states to retain this misguided regulation that said that any child born into a household while another family member received aid would not get any assistance.  Research has shown this rule to be harmful and that it may lead to more abortions as mothers suffer the financial strains of raising families.  

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CA Crosses Unwelcomed Threshold with Legalization of Physician-Assisted Suicide

The California Catholic Conference of Bishops, comprised of Bishops from the two archdioceses and 10 dioceses of California, issued the following statement on the legalization of physician-assisted suicide on June 9, 2016:

Every human being possesses inherent dignity, which deserves our respect.  Each of us should feel loved, worthy and cared for at every moment of our lives, especially when our earthly journey is nearing its end.

What some mistakenly consider a newfound “freedom,” will inevitably become a duty for others. By allowing doctors to prescribe a lethal dose of drugs to their patients, California is embarking on a dangerous course. This new law will place the disabled, the elderly and other vulnerable people at risk for abuse and mistreatment and will undermine the healing professions’ venerable commitment to “first do no harm.”

As Catholics, we have been called from the very beginning of our faith to care for the sick.   This commitment to care for life at all stages will not be deterred by this law. The Bishops of California and our partners in Catholic health care renew our promise to exceptional healing and compassionate care for those facing diagnosis of a terminal illness.

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Take Action!

Taxpayers Should Not Fund Physician-Assisted Suicide – Tell elected officials not to purchase lethal drugs for Medi-Cal patients (see above).

Help Families, Children Living on the Margin- Repeal MFG – Help children and families who are living on the margins (see above).

Restorative Justice Solutions – Support a healing approach to the criminal justice system in California.

Support One California -Restore the funding to The Naturalization Services Program (NSP) which provides citizenship application assistance to legal permanent residents seeking to naturalize. 


CRS Building More Shelters in Ecuador Earthquake Zone

QUITO, ECUADOR – Catholic Relief Services (CRS) teams in Ecuador are constructing shelters for thousands of families left homeless by the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that hit Ecuador on April 16, killing nearly 700 people and injuring more than 12,000. CRS teams have also started delivering hygiene kits that include soap and toothbrushes to 800 families in Esmeraldas and Manabí, two of the hardest-hit provinces.

“Shelter, potable drinking water, hygiene supplies and sanitation systems and psychological support are the most critical needs now,” said Thomas Hollywood, CRS’ Representative for South America.

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On the Web

  • Archbishop José Gomez, Los Angeles writes about the new physician-assisted suicide law in Coming to the End of Life in California
  • Bishop Jaime Soto from Sacramento, and president of the California Catholic Conference, is interviewed by America Magazine correspondent Fr. Jim McDermott in this issue.  Read it here.
  • Catholic Bishops and Scholars from Europe and the U.S. Renew Efforts on Nuclear Disarmament.  Read the story here.


June 10, 2016    
Vol. 9, No. 20

En Español