As widely anticipated, California voters will be asked to pass judgment on a variety of ballot measures on the November 2016 ballot. Seventeen questions – ranging from ending the use of the death penalty to extending taxes to recreational marijuana use – have qualified.
SACRAMENTO, CA – Edward E. (Ned) Dolejsi, executive director of the California Catholic Conference, issued the following statement today in reaction to Gov. Jerry Brown signing the 2016/7 California State Budget into law:
The initiative to eliminate the use of California’s death penalty law has officially qualified for this November’s ballot.
The measure to revoke capital punishment in the state collected almost 405,000 signatures – well above the 365,000 verifiable signatures required for certification.
California, the most populous state in the country, has the largest population of death row inmates. Repealing the law would change the death sentences of almost 750 convicted inmates to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Every year, the State Budget process is a long campaign that begins in January and is followed by months of negotiations, lobbying and revisions. The lengthy and commonly contentious process ultimately ends up with controversial issues being negotiated or decided by the “Big Three” – the Governor and Democratic majority leaders in both legislative houses. Republican leaders are part of the Conference Committee process but because of the simple majority vote needed to approve the Budget, their influence is greatly diminished.
“A sword has pierced the heart of our city,” said Bishop John Noonan of Orlando after the horror of last Saturday night. His diocese is now the location of the worst mass shooting in U.S. history. (Read the Call to Prayer issued this week.)
The nation awoke Sunday – on the Lord’s Day – to yet another report of a mass shooting as a lone gunman stuck down patrons in an Orlando nightclub.
May 13, 2016 - Governor Jerry Brown released the “May Revise” to his budget today. The revision incorporates more accurate budget revenue and expenditure projections to sharpen the accuracy of the Proposed Budget he released in January. Edward “Ned” Dolejsi, executive director of the California Catholic Conference offered the following remarks:
The deadline for submission of new legislation arrived on Feb. 19 and the Capitol was inundated with new bills. Hearings will start soon on more than 2,100 bills introduced this year.
“Missionary of Mercy and Peace”
Pope Francis will begin his Apostolic Journey this Friday in Mexico. Considered the holiest site in Mexico, the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe is visited by millions of people each year. Starting off his visit here, the pope will say mass at this sacred spot that is just steps away from the place where Our Lady appeared to Saint Juan Diego and brought him comfort with her words and healing ways.
Unlike the pomp of Washington, D.C., the California Governor’s State of the State speech has a much lower profile. To a business-like crowd of officials, judges and guests, Gov. Jerry Brown delivered his 2016 version this week in less than 20 minutes.
The Governor’s “annual report” tends to be a laundry list of accomplishments and goals, marked by his own wry humor (“maybe I’ll run for a fifth term”). This year was no different although he did reminisce that he gave his first State of the State speech 41 years ago.
As we head into a new year, one our Holy Father has devoted to Mercy, 2016 legislative and budgetary directions will begin to become clearer in the next few weeks. New bills are just now being introduced but it’s likely the California Catholic Conference will concentrate on the following: