Sacramento, CA—The Most Rev. Jaime Soto, Bishop of Sacramento and President of the California Catholic Conference (CCC), announced today that Andrew Rivas has been named Executive Director of the California Catholic Conference. He will assume his position in August at the end of the legislative session.
The Trump Administration, after days of saying it had no choice, reversed its policy of forcefully separating families at the border. Massive public outrage, accompanied by the voices of religious leaders and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, forced the President on Wednesday to alter his policy even though significant questions about what happens now remain unanswered.
In addition to separating families at the border, Attorney General Jeff Sessions also announced that the United States would no longer accept asylum applications for those fleeing domestic or gang violence.
Governor Brown and Democratic legislative leaders have agreed on significant items in a $190 billion dollar budget for the 2018-2019 fiscal year.
Lawmakers voted to approve the budget bill late Thursday, which will now go to the Governor who has until June 30 to sign. Though it is largely approved, the Governor still has the authority to reduce or eliminate any appropriation contained in the budget.
This week, Attorney General Jeff Sessions overturned asylum protections for domestic violence and gang violence victims from other countries. The new qualifications for those seeking refuge in the U.S. are so narrow that it’s unlikely many asylum claims will be valid.
USCCB President and Galveston-Houston Archbishop Daniel Cardinal DiNardo released a statement calling asylum, “an instrument to preserve the right to life” and expressing deep concern for victims.
On Monday, the American Medical Association (AMA) House of Delegates voted not to affirm the report of its Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs (CEJA) to maintain opposition to assisted suicide and sent the report back to committee for further review.
The CEJA report, online forum and Reference Committee all recommended that the AMA maintain its position in opposition to assisted suicide. In spite of those recommendations, the House of Delegates voted 56%-44% for further study.
A recent pro-life legislative proposal, which even managed to garner significant support from Democratic legislators, was held in fiscal committee and will not advance any further this year.
Assembly Bill 2259, authored by Assemblymember Jim Patterson (R-Fresno) sought to establish a $2,000 tax credit for still birth-related medical and burial or cremation costs paid or incurred during the taxable year.
With June 1 being the deadline for all bills to have passed out of their house of origin, the fates of many of the bills that CCC tracks, including the closely monitored Catholic Advocacy Day bills, are being determined.
An appellate court’s judge ruling released last week means that physician-assisted suicide will remain illegal in California at least until a decision is released by the appellate court after a hearing.
On May 15, Riverside County Superior Court judge ruled the End-of-Life Option Act unconstitutional and halted its enforcement. Last week, the appellate court denied the California Attorney General’s request for an emergency stay while asking attorneys on both sides for additional information.
On May 11, Governor Brown released the May Revision to his proposed 2018-2019 state budget, which includes billions more in revenues than he originally projected in January.
Citing strong economic growth and a low unemployment rate, the Governor is now allocating an additional $8 billion to build up the state’s “rainy day” fund, pay down debt, and invest in infrastructure, setting the stage for solid financial footings in preparation for the next economic recession.
It is an empowering experience – visiting the State Capitol and discussing with lawmakers the pros and cons of policy proposals.
Nearly 100 delegates from most dioceses in California learned that lessons during Catholic Advocacy Day last month when they travelled to Sacramento to discuss six crucial bills now before the legislature. Almost all had cordial visits and respectful dialogue, even with legislators who disagreed with the Conference positions.