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Public Policy Insights

April 29, 2016 Public Policy Insights, Publications

Busy Weeks at the Capitol

For the past few weeks, committees in the California Legislature were furiously working through hundreds of fiscally-related bills to meet their April 22 legislative deadline.  Non-fiscal bills have until May 6 to pass out of their respective policy committees.

If state funds are available or approved for the specific program(s), then a bill will move to the floor of its house of origin to be debated and voted on by members of that house. Then it will go through the process all over again in the other house. 

April 22, 2016 Public Policy Insights, Publications

Catholics Advocating for Life and Dignity Issues

Tuesday morning started very early for some dedicated advocates.  Traveling from all over the state to Sacramento, almost every diocese in California was represented at the Capitol for the annual Catholic Advocacy Day.

April 15, 2016 Public Policy Insights, Publications

Restorative Justice and Public Safety    

At 20 years old, Jerry Elster was a gang member in Los Angeles. Defiant and angry at a system that he viewed as against him from birth, his attachment to his community was non-existent.

“It was not difficult for me, at that age, to wrap myself in a cloak of resentment and bitterness,” said Elster. Having no ties to his own community, gang life attracted Elster and eventually he ended up killing  a rival gang member.

April 8, 2016 Public Policy Insights, Publications

Advocates Call on Lawmakers to Promote Life & Dignity

On April 19 more than a hundred Catholic delegates from Dioceses around the state will gather at the Capitol to advocate for a variety of bills that promote life, support families and better their communities. The annual event will highlight specific bills that include:  tax relief for teachers and lower income families, protecting children who are victims of human trafficking, sentencing reform and strong opposition to the state furthering physician-assisted suicide.

April 1, 2016 Public Policy Insights, Publications

Taxpayers Asked to Pay for Assisted-Suicide Drugs

Without fanfare or announcement, Governor Brown’s proposed 2016 Budget recommends $2.3 million dollars for the purchase of lethal drugs for Medi-Cal patients as a covered benefit for those who want their physician to help them commit suicide.

March 18, 2016 Public Policy Insights, Publications

New Assembly Leadership – What Does It Mean for Advocates?

A criminal justice professor who also led an association devoted to conservation, Anthony Rendon has been sworn in as the 70th Speaker of the California Assembly.  Speaker Rendon represents the 63rd Assembly District, situated southeast of downtown Los Angeles.  He now joins fellow Angelino, Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon, in directing the course of the California Legislature.

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.