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Take action on state legislative issues Print
Editorial
Written by Mary C. Uhler   
Thursday, May. 16, 2019 -- 12:00 AM

The Wisconsin Catholic Conference (WCC) offers excellent resources for concerned citizens who want to put Catholic Social Teaching into practice.

One example is the WCC Action Alert on the State Budget sent on May 10. The headline on this email alert says, “TAKE ACTION! RESTORE MEASURES THAT SUPPORT VULNERABLE AND COMMON GOOD IN STATE BUDGET!”

The capital letters got my attention, encouraging me to read further. The Action Alert explained that in February of this year, Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers introduced his proposed biennial state budget for 2019-20 (Senate Bill 59 and Assembly Bill 56).

The budget bills are important because they set state priorities for the next two years.

In its first action on the budget bills, the alert explains, the Joint Committee on Finance eliminated more than 130 provisions of the budget proposal. The motion passed by an 11-4 party-line vote in a committee on which Republicans hold a majority.

Restore some budget items

Included in the removed provisions were four items that the WCC had previously urged legislators to retain as measures that promote the life and dignity of the human person and the common good. These include:

• Medicaid expansion — This expands Medicaid to cover low-income residents who earn up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level ($34,638 annually in 2019 for a family of four).

• Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) expansion — Increases the Wisconsin Earned Income Tax Credit for working families with one or two children.

• Returning 17-year-old offenders to the juvenile justice system — Returns new 17-year-old offenders to the juvenile court system beginning in 2021.

• Driver’s licenses and ID cards for undocumented residents — Allows undocumented residents to obtain a noncompliant REAL ID driver’s license or identification card.

Pro-life bills

In addition to these budget measures, the WCC also testified in support of pro-life bills in four separate Assembly and Senate public hearings.

Senate Bill 175 and Assembly Bill 179, known as the “Born Alive Protection Act,” establishes a standard of care for infants who survive an induced abortion.

The WCC also urged the committees to consider improving the bills by requiring that parents be informed of other options, such as utilizing perinatal hospice and adoption.

The WCC also testified in favor of Senate Bill 174 and Assembly Bill 180, the “A Woman’s Right to Know Act,” which requires that a woman seeking an abortion via medication be informed that she may be able to continue her pregnancy if she seeks immediate medical assistance to counteract the effects of the administration of the abortion drug.

This bill updates Wisconsin’s informed consent laws and also requires improved abortion reporting to the state.

Senate Bill 173 and Assembly Bill 182 prohibit selective abortions that are sought solely because of the race, color national origin, sex, or disability of the unborn child.

Finally, Senate Bill 187 and Assembly Bill 181 prohibit the state from certifying a private abortion services provider or affiliate under the Medicaid program.

Catholics are encouraged to contact their legislators in support of restoring the budget proposals mentioned and enacting the pro-life legislation.

To contact your state legislators, visit the Wisconsin State Legislature website (http://legis.wisconsin.gov/) or call the Legislative Hotline at 1-800-362-9472.

 
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