Allegra Thatcher, Assistant Editor.
Bishop Roger Foys invites Catholics from the Diocese of Covington to Frankfort, Thursday, Feb. 27, to learn about proposed Senate and House bills and to share their Catholic perspective with Kentucky lawmakers.
Presented by the Catholic Conference of Kentucky (CCK), the event will address the Abortion Neutrality Amendment, sanctuary cities, the elimination of the death penalty for persons with mental illness and support of Scholarship Tax Credits, among other current issues.
The day will include a morning with CCK staff, including Jason Hall, director, talking about the issues and answering any questions, followed by an opportunity to meet in small groups with individual legislators. There will also be a chance to observe the General Assembly in session for those who wish to stay.
Mr. Hall said this is a perfect first step for those who want to get involved in advocacy or in speaking out for Catholic social teaching, but are uncertain about how to do it, or feel intimidated by the process.
“This is a wonderful opportunity to, in a fully supported way, to get over that initial fear,” he said. “We help connect with the right legislators, you get to go speak to them in groups with people that are more experienced. It’s a good mix of people with experience in advocacy work at the state level and people who are doing it for the first time.”
The CCK was created in 1984 by the Roman Catholic bishops of Kentucky to represent the four dioceses in public policy on the state and federal level. It advocates for laws and policies that reflect Gospel values and Catholic social teaching.
Each diocese is given a different day this year to bring their specific concerns to lawmakers. It is hoped that this year an even greater number of the faithful will give the Church a voice in the public square.
Some key bills and issues the CCK will talk about at [email protected] Capitol are:
HB 67: Abortion Neutrality Constitutional Amendment — This bill would amend the state constitution to clarify that there is no right to an abortion in the Kentucky Constitution. (CCK supports)
HB 237: Severely Mentally Ill Exclusion from the Death Penalty — This bill would prohibit the application of the death penalty against someone with a diagnosed severe mental illness. (CCK supports)
HB 350: Scholarship Tax Credits — This would establish a separate income tax credit for tuition assistance based on contributions made to a qualified scholarship-granting organization. (CCK supports)
SB 1: Sanctuary Cities — which would charge all public agencies with the duty to use their “best efforts” to support federal immigration enforcement, even if that agency ministers to vulnerable populations and with personnel that has no training in immigration law. (CCK opposes)
SB 9: Born-Alive Infant Protection Act — This provides that a born-alive infant shall be treated as a legal person under the laws of the commonwealth. (CCK supports)
The event will be held 9:30 a.m.–2 p.m., at the State Capitol Building, Room 316, Frankfort, Ky. Registration begins at 8 a.m.
Buses will leave from the Diocese of Covington Curia, Covington, at 7:30 a.m. and will return at approximately 4 p.m. There is no cost to attend. To reserve your spot on the bus or for more information, contact Faye Roch at the Diocese of Covington (859) 392-1500 before Friday, Feb. 21.