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Register Now! Catholics @ the Capitol 201807 Jan

Catholics @ the Capitol will be held on February 13, 2018. This is a great opportunity to connect with your legislators, Capitol Domeespecially if you have not done so before or if you often feel unprepared to reach out to your representatives. CCK staff will provide a full morning briefing on the main issues of concern for the Catholic Church in this year’s session of the General Assembly and will provide assistance in connecting you with your state senator and representative. Everyone is encouraged to register and attend.

For more information, please follow the link below for the day’s agenda. Also, use the registration form to let us know you’re coming. We ask that you please register by February 6.

Thank you for your continuing commitment to Faithful Citizenship!

Catholics @ the Capitol 2018 Agenda

Catholics @ the Capitol Registration Form

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Health Care Summit CANCELED19 Oct

Please note that the CCK Health Care Summit, planned for October 26, has been canceled. We received an unusually low number or RSVPs and will be working to determine what conflicts existed and how to avoid them in the future.

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Scholarship Tax Credit Update04 Oct

The Kentucky General Assembly will have an opportunity to pass a Scholarship Tax Credit law when it convenes for the 2018 session in January.

Scholarship Tax Credit Insert

Scholarship Tax Credit Insert

This might seem far away, but the work of passing a Scholarship Tax Credit program begins now.  There are several ways that you can help.

First, please follow EdChoice KY on Facebook and Twitter.  The Catholic Conference is part of the EdChoice KY coalition, a diverse group of individuals and organizations who want to give more educational opportunities to Kentucky students. EdChoice KY’s Facebook and Twitter pages provide useful information on Scholarship Tax Credits and how such a program would help Kentucky families.  Please follow these pages and share them with your friends and family. We could easily reach thousands of Kentuckians if every person who reads this post invited five people to follow EdChoice KY.

Second, please consider having us visit your parish, school or community group to present on Scholarship Tax Credits.  Over the past few months, we have presented to parent groups, school boards, and civic groups on the issue. If you are interested, please contact Andrew Vandiver at avandiver@ccky.org.

Third, ask your parish or school to circulate the bulletin insert above. It is an easy way to connect members of your community with EdChoice KY.  If you need an electronic copy, please contact Andrew Vandiver at avandiver@ccky.org.

Thank you for your advocacy.

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The U.S. Supreme Court and School Choice10 Apr

The U.S. Supreme Court is set to consider a case that could have a major impact on school choice programs across the country.  Capitol DomeThe case, Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia v. Comer, deals with whether a church-run preschool can be excluded from a Missouri program that provides funding for rubberized surface material for children’s playgrounds.  The state claims that including the preschool in the program would violate a Missouri constitutional provision commonly known as a “Blaine Amendment.”  Blaine Amendments exist in 37 state constitutions.  Generally speaking, these types of provisions prohibit state funds from flowing to religious schools.

 

Kentucky is one of the states that features a Blaine Amendment in its state constitution.  Blaine Amendments were adopted as an anti-Catholic/anti-immigrant measure in the late 19th century.  Some lower level courts have recognized the motives behind the Blaine Amendments in their rulings and have declined to use them to prohibit parental choice in education.  Likewise, it is possible that the U.S. Supreme Court will find in Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia v. Comer that Blaine Amendments cannot be used to discriminate against religious institutions with regard to public programs. 

 

It is unlikely that this case will impact the legality of Scholarship Tax Credit proposals currently pending in Kentucky.  Scholarship Tax Credits have a perfect record in the courts.  This is because Scholarship Tax Credit programs rely solely on private funding.  Challenges to Scholarship Tax Credit programs under state constitutions have been dismissed and it is expected that the Kentucky Supreme Court would reach a similar conclusion.  Thus, regardless of how the Supreme Court rules in Trinity Lutheran, a Scholarship Tax Credit program in Kentucky is almost certainly constitutional.

 

Nevertheless, a favorable ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court would provide further support for the argument that parents should have the right to choose the most appropriate classroom for their children, regardless of whether it is a religious or secular school.  

 

The Supreme Court will hear arguments in the Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia v. Comer on April 19th, 2017.  A decision will likely be issued by late June. 

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Scholarship Tax Credits for KY Families09 Jan

Senator Ralph Alvarado

Senator Ralph Alvarado

Representative Bam Carney

Representative Bam Carney

 

The first week of the 2017 Regular Session of the Kentucky General Assembly wrapped up on Saturday with the passage of several bills.  HB 162 was filed by House Education Committee Chairman Bam Carney and SB 102 was filed by Senator Ralph Alvarado.  SB 102 was co-sponsored by Senate Education Committee Chairman Mike Wilson and Senator Max Wise. Though many issues are of importance to us as Catholics, I urge you to support these two bills that would help provide families with more options when it comes to their children’s education, regardless of their income or ZIP Code.

During the recess, please be sure to do the following:

  1. Thank the primary sponsors and co-sponsors mentioned above for their leadership on this issue;
  2. Encourage your state legislators to support and prioritize this legislation;
  3. Inform your friends and neighbors of this opportunity.

You can reach state legislators by calling the Legislative Message Line at 1-800-372-7181 (1-866-840-6574 for Spanish).  If you do not know your state legislators, the operator on the line will assist you in getting the message to the correct representative and senator.

These proposals will likely be considered by the Kentucky General Assembly during the month of February.  Please sign-up for our Faithful Citizen Advocate email list in order to stay up-to-date on this issue and invite others to do so as well.

Photo: Kentucky Legislative Research Commission

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Register Now! Catholics @ the Capitol 2018
Catholics @ the Capitol will be held on February 13, 2018. This is a great opportunity to connect with your legislators, especially if you have not done so before or if you often feel unprepared to reach out to your representatives. CCK staff will provide a full morning briefing on the main issues of concern for […]

Health Care Summit CANCELED
Please note that the CCK Health Care Summit, planned for October 26, has been canceled. We received an unusually low number or RSVPs and will be working to determine what conflicts existed and how to avoid them in the future.

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