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Public Policy Insights

March 11, 2016 Public Policy Insights, Publications

2016 Legislative Preview

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.

March 4, 2016 Public Policy Insights, Publications

Common Sense Sentencing Reshaping California Prisons

In 2014 California voters strongly passed Proposition 47. Its goal is to reduce the huge number of people incarcerated in California for relatively small crimes, a number that had been growing far faster than population growth.

Proposition 47 authorizes the release of persons convicted and jailed for two types of crime: petty property crimes where the value of the goods was below $950 (typically theft, forgery, etc.), and personal use of illegal drugs. Violent crimes are excluded.

February 19, 2016 Public Policy Insights, Publications

Papa Francisco in Mexico          

The Pope concluded his visit to Mexico with a Mass in the border city of Ciudad Juarez.  Reflecting the close ties of two cities along the border, a community of Catholics from neighboring El Paso also joined in the celebration to welcome the Pope.

Juarez was once known as the murder capital of the world with 3,500 killings in 2010. In 2015, the number dropped to 300. The local government is hoping that this visit will continue the healing of this city wracked by violence and death from the drug wars. 

February 12, 2016 Public Policy Insights, Publications

Papa Francisco- Misionero de Misericordia y Paz

Pope Francis will begin his Apostolic Journey this Friday at the holiest site in Mexico.  Starting off his visit with mass at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe – visited by millions every year – he is just steps away from the place where Our Lady appeared to St. Juan Diego.

January 29, 2016 Public Policy Insights, Publications

The Mission of Catholic Schools in Church and Society

Coinciding with Catholic Schools’ Week, the California Catholic Conference of Bishops has issued a comprehensive document entirely focused on Catholic schools.  Entitled “Our Catholic Schools in California: A Stellar Past, A Robust Future,” the document recognizes the tremendous benefit that Catholic schools have had and will continue to have on society as a whole.  

January 22, 2016 Public Policy Insights, Publications

Governor Brown Delivers State of the State Speech

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. 

January 15, 2016 Public Policy Insights, Publications

California Tries to Revamp Death Penalty Procedures

After having its death penalty protocols repeatedly ruled unconstitutional, California will once again attempt to rewrite the process to comply with court rulings.  The California Catholic Conference will be among many speaking out against the use of the death penalty and the protocols at a hearing next Friday.

December 18, 2015 Public Policy Insights, Publications

Welcome to the end of an extraordinary year in California.  It was certainly mixed. 

California was honored by Pope Francis when he canonized St. Junípero Serra during his Apostolic Visit in September.  But it was also stunned when the Legislature rammed through and the Governor signed a physician-assisted suicide bill during a special session -- even after the measure was defeated though the normal legislative process!  (Have you signed the referendum to overturn this “travesty of compassion”?)

December 4, 2015 Public Policy Insights, Publications

 Year of Mercy Begins Tuesday

As the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy commences on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception (Dec. 8), we are surrounded by charitable opportunities and, because we are in Advent, may feel just a bit more inclined to perform works of mercy.

We may volunteer at our local soup kitchen, adopt a needy family or, with the abundance of bell ringers in front of shops, make a quick contribution that may lessen our “guilt” at buying so many gifts.

November 13, 2015 Public Policy Insights, Publications

Dreams that Lead to Action – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is one of the most important African-American leaders in U.S. history and one of the iconic figures of the civil rights movement in the United States during the 1950s and 1960s.  King's fight against discrimination and segregation changed American history and gave hope to millions.