Budget Negotiations: Catholic Legislative Network

Catholic Legislative Network
March 11, 2011, Vol. 4, No. 9
En Español
In this issue:
Budget Negotiations Resume but Behind Closed Doors
ACTION ALERTS: Protect Children, Life and Marriage
Census Released: Get Ready for Redistricting
On the Web: Illinois Abolishes Death Penalty and New Bible Translation
Budget Negotiations Resume but Behind Closed Doors

Will California voters be given an opportunity to vote on extending some taxes or will the state double already deep cuts to California’s budget? The Governor and five Republican Senators are discussing that once again after they announced an impasse earlier in the week.

The “Reform Five,” as they have dubbed themselves are Senators Sam Blakeslee (R-San Luis Obispo), Tom Berryhill (R-Modesto), Anthony Cannella (R-Ceres), Bill Emmerson (R-Hemet), and Tom Harman (R-Huntington Beach). On the table: pension reform, regulatory reform, spending caps and other items, but details are sparse. What emerges from this group will be submitted to the legislature for approval.

Many California lawmakers have been grumbling about how the final stages of budget negotiations have been handled of late, but it is a reflection of a how deeply divided and uncompromising the legislature has become. (Under Gov. Schwarzenegger meetings were held with the leaders of both houses but, again, behind closed doors.)

Nevertheless, the Governor reports progress with these Senators and has asked the Assembly and Senate leaders to postpone a vote that was scheduled for late this week. Many observers expect an impasse or two will emerge before the Budget and special election issues are settled – but few know what the final package will look like.

Public information has not changed from what was detailed in Public Policy Insights last week – Medi-Cal reduced by $1.7 billion, CalWORKs by $1.5 and higher education by $1 billion – but there is an opportunity to correct one of the worst cuts in CalWORKs (see below).

For more information, contact Steve Pehanich, spehanich@cacatholic.org.

ACTION ALERTS: Protect Children, Life and Marriage

Cuts in Aid to Children – Hundreds of thousands of California children face the loss of some state assistance under the current budget plan. The scope of the cuts, coupled with unemployment in the state and years of reductions in services, reductions in Medi-Cal and Healthy Families are devastating low-income families.

Among the most destitute are families who are no longer eligible for assistance to the adult members even though children still get some aid. Under a Budget Conference Committee proposal, those families will have their monthly assistance cut from $520 to $425 per month. In many cases, this is the only income the family has.

CalWORKs funding is being cut by $1.3 billion in the current plan, but this reduction in “child-only” assistance is particularly questionable in that these children have nowhere else to turn. You can ask lawmakers to reconsider these cuts by clicking here.

Life – As a reminder, three measures to protect life and the conscience rights of health care providers are in the early stages of debate in the U.S. House of Representatives. Details on the measures are available here and Action Alerts are available here. These bills are all expected to reach the House floor:
HR 361, the Abortion Non-Discrimination Act (ANDA) will provide conscience protection for health care providers and is seeking floor sponsors. The Catholic Legislative Network will soon distribute an Action Alert to members in key Congressional districts to assist in this effort.
HR 3, the No Tax Payer Funding of Abortion Act, has been heard in two of the five subcommittees which will debated it.
HR 358, the Protect Life Act, amends health care reform legislation to clearly prohibit funding for abortion. It has not been scheduled for a floor vote yet.
Defense of Marriage – The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has issued an alert asking Congress to defend the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) when it is challenged in Federal court. We’ve posted the USCCB alert as well.

Census Released: Get Ready for Redistricting

Riverside has been the fastest growing county in the state over the last 10 years, the San Francisco Bay area’s population grew less than the rest of California did and our population is shifting to the Central Valley from the coast. These are some of the findings that the Federal government began releasing this week after counting all 311 million of us last year in the 2010 Census.

Government and private organizations are poring over the results to see what changes have occurred and what population trends are occurring.

Particularly interested in the new numbers are 120 lawmakers in California – or at least those running for re-election. That’s because electoral districts will be changed on the basis of the Census and those lawmakers will be accountable to a new set of constituents in the 2012 election.

In 2008, voters approved a new way to determine electoral districts in California. Instead of lawmakers controlling the process, a 14-member citizen commission now does. The outcome will shape the political landscape for the next decade. You can read more about it here.

And if you like to peruse facts and figures then the America Fact Finder site is for you. It is provided by the U.S. Census bureau and contains summaries and charts of data down to the neighborhood level.

On the Web
The State of Illinois has abolished the death penalty. “No longer will there be a risk in Illinois that an innocent person will be convicted and sentenced to death,” said the Catholic Conference of Illinois in a March 9 statement. “Furthermore, society will continue to be protected and those who commit crimes will still be held accountable through alternatives to the death penalty, including life without parole.” Read statement of the Illinois Bishops here.

Two new translations of the Bible were released on Ash Wednesday. The New American Bible, Revised Edition (NABRE) is used by Catholics and is the culmination of 20 years of work by the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine. You can read more about it and find examples of the new translation here.

Public Policy Insights is produced by the California Catholic Conference.
Visit www.cacatholic.org for more information.

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Tres Mali Scott, M.Ed., M.S., Ph.D. (ABD) is the Senior Editor And Chief for all TMSC Consulting Services, LLC Parented Entities. She is a Wikipedia the free Encyclopedia writier, Experts123.com the Questions and Answer Encyclopedia writer through a Pulitzer Center Filter, and is a Reference on the Taliban for Right Health with the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). TMSC Consulting Services, LLC started in Oklahoma (1997) as a volunteer Consulting Service. It relocated to Los Angeles as a sole proprietorship and expanded to an LLC. TMSC Consulting Services, LLC is a Registered Government Contractor and has several Divisions including: *Psychic Consulting *International Management and Leadership Consulting *Developmental Consulting *International Religious Consulting Over 20 years of writing and editing, over 20 years of Management and Leadership Experience, over 10 years of Psychology and Religious Education Experience. TMSC Consulting Services, LLC has developed a Research Foundation- The International Library of Paranormal Psychology for Paranormal Psychology and a Writing Foundation-The Writings of African-Americans for minority publication opportunities in poetry, short stories, and speeches (some qualified minority Research).

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