HB 3054: improve the rights of juries serving death penalty cases

April 4, 2017

Mary Helen Russell I’m testifying in support of HB 3054 on behalf of the Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops. The Bishops are meeting today across the street in preparation for their advocacy day tomorrow, which is why the Executive Director, Jennifer Allmon, is unable to be here to deliver this testimony. However, the issue is…

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HB 3859: ensures broad and diverse network for foster care reform

March 29, 2017

Jennifer Allmon Executive Director, Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops The Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops is in support of HB 3859. This bill ensures that Texas will maintain and expand a broad and diverse network of foster care providers. In light of the foster care crisis that Texas has endured, the passage of this bill is…

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SB 1018: Denies the dignity of families

March 29, 2017

Michael Barba I am testifying against SB 1018 on behalf of the Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops. Background. The licensing requirements maintained by the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) were established in order to ensure the quality of care for children housed in family residential centers. DFPS first established an emergency version…

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HB 1799: Good cooperation to keep children safe in public and private schools

March 27, 2017

Lisette Allen The Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops support of HB 1799. In our own operation of schools, we have established a program called Safe Environment, through which we train all staff how to recognize early signs of potential abuse and prevent it from occurring. We maintain policies governing adult-student interactions, including on social media.…

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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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