ARIZONA CATHOLIC CONFERENCE
February 1, 2013
Arizona Bishops Make Huge Impression at the Capitol
This week was an exciting and very productive week for the Bishops of the Arizona Catholic Conference (ACC). The Bishops met with a number of key elected officials over two days to discuss important issues ranging from religious freedom, the sanctity of human life, immigration, school choice, and ways to help the most vulnerable in our society.
Of particular note this week was the fact that the Bishops met at length with Governor Jan Brewer and expressed gratitude for her recent proposal to help low income individuals maintain their current health coverage by extending Medicaid in Arizona. This proposal will not only help those in need, but it is being structured to also reduce the current amount of money already being spent in the general fund for the same health services for the indigent.
The Bishops also were strongly supportive of the Governor’s plan to provide emergency funding to Child Protective Services this week to better protect a large number of children who are at risk across Arizona. Thankfully, this proposal has received widespread bipartisan support and was expedited through the legislative process.
In addition to the meetings with elected officials, the Bishops hosted the 11th Annual Catholic Schools Rally on Wednesday. The rally was a huge success and drew almost 1,000 Catholic school students, teachers, parents, and supporters. We are especially grateful to have had numerous dignitaries speak at the event, including House Speaker Andy Tobin, Senate President Andy Biggs, and State Treasurer Doug Ducey.
Finally, the ACC also had a significant legislative victory this week when the Senate Finance Committee voted unanimously to approve SB 1172. This bill, which was initiated by the ACC and sponsored by Senator Steve Yarbrough, would increase contributions made under the charitable tax credit by eliminating the requirement that only those itemizing their taxes are eligible.
Many faith based nonprofit organizations such as St. Vincent de Paul, Catholic Charities, and crisis pregnancy centers rely on the charitable tax credit and would benefit from this legislation if it becomes law.
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