Serving the Church in Texas

Bishops object to House version of SB4, anti-sanctuary city bill

March 15, 2017

The House State Affairs Committee considered SB4 today, and Bishop Joe Vasquez testified against the bill. As passed by the Senate, two parts of the bill are particularly objectionable: (1) the bill does not prioritize criminal offenders for detention and deportation, and (2) the bill allows local law enforcement to stop individuals in public and…

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HB 21: First step in addressing school finance reform

March 10, 2017

Michael Barba HB 21 makes adjustments to the finance system, especially by providing a new weight for dyslexic student and folding funds into the Basic Allotment. It is a first step toward addressing a fundamental problem in the system. The fundamental problem is that Texas collects revenue through a local property tax to fund a…

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HB 35: Protects dignity of the human person

March 8, 2017

Jennifer Carr Allmon The Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops supports H.B. 35 because it seeks to protect the dignity of the human person. In particular, the Bishops are grateful to Chairman Cook and his staff for their role in bringing this issue to light. The revisions contained in H.B. 35 are long overdue and provide…

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SB 20: ‘Great first step’ to prevent Texans from unintentionally subsidizing abortion

February 28, 2017

Jennifer Allmon The Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops supports SB 20. We would like to thank Senator Taylor for filing this bill to prohibit abortion coverage on health benefits plans in the federal health benefit exchange program. We also applaud the provision which requires that individuals purchasing insurance be notified that coverage for abortion is…

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SB 25: Stop ‘wrongful birth’ lawsuits

February 27, 2017

Jennifer Allmon The Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops supports S.B. 25. This bill is short and simple, but presents a powerful message of profound respect for unborn life and the lives of persons living with disabilities, and the noble desire of doctors to do no harm to their patients. S.B. 25 prohibits wrongful birth lawsuits that claim…

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Bishops support full funding of Texas’ DFPS

February 23, 2017

Michael Barba The Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops support fully funding DFPS, especially programs pertaining to aging out, kinship care, prevention and intervention, and the shift to a regional community-based model. To inform this conversation, I’ll walk through two persistent problems facing the agency. Caseload In 1996, the Governor’s Committee to Promote Adoption told DFPS…

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Fort Worth Catholic Charities: HB4 encourages positive kinship care for children in foster care

February 20, 2017

Dana Springer Director of Child Welfare Services Catholic Charities Fort Worth The main goal of foster care is reunification between child and their birth family. Currently, relatives of the child are not the first option for placement. Research by the Health and Human Services Department has shown that children placed in kinship care have less…

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Fort Worth Catholic Charities: Faith-based agencies welcome HB6

February 20, 2017

Shannon Rosedale Catholic Charities Fort Worth. More than 25% of Texas’ foster care provider networks are faith-based. These agencies provide a necessary service to protect the state’s most vulnerable children. The services provided are life-saving. For the system improvements in HB 6 to be successful, they must be coupled with conscience protections. Protecting the conscience…

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Alternatives ways to reform immigration system – not SB4

February 2, 2017

Michael Barba Associate Director of Public Policy, Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops As Bishop Joe Vasquez stated emphatically, we oppose Senate Bill 4. I add to his testimony several alternatives, recommended by the bishops, which would significantly improve our immigration system. It would serve the people of Texas to examine how our laws can advance…

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Testimony on SB 11: Cautious first step in foster care reform

February 2, 2017

Jennifer Allmon Executive Director of the Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops I’m testifying in cautious support of SB 11. The issues facing our foster care system in Texas are numerous and complex. SB 11 is a beginning point in providing some needed reforms. We believe that a triage assessment system is an improvement that will…

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