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Catholic Spirit: Inside a week at the Minnesota Capitol

(by Jason Adkins)

March 26, 2015

Minnesota Catholic Conference staff is often asked to describe a typical day at the office. Though every day is different, we are blessed that it is only the rare occasion on which MCC’s policy team spends the whole day behind a desk. This is how it should be, because public policy advocacy requires an entrepreneurial spirit and lots of relationship building —which is not much different from the dynamics of those who work in sales.

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MPR Capitol View: Time running out on felon voting bill

Jason Adkins of the Minnesota Catholic Conference urged Minnesota House leaders to take action this session on a bill to restore the voting rights of felons. Tim Pugmire / MPR News

Jason Adkins of the Minnesota Catholic Conference urged Minnesota House leaders to take action this session on a bill to restore the voting rights of felons. Tim Pugmire / MPR News

(by Tim Pugmire)
March 18, 2015

A coalition of groups working to restore the voting rights of convicted felons is growing concerned about the prospect of passing a bill this session.

Legislation allowing felons to vote once they’re out of jail, rather than waiting until they’re off probation, is poised for a floor vote in the Minnesota Senate. But it does not yet have a scheduled hearing in the House. The committee deadline is Friday.

During a news conference Wednesday, Jason Adkins, executive director of the Minnesota Catholic Conference said the bill enjoys broad bipartisan support.

“All we’re looking for is to move this bill forward in the House,” Adkins said. “There’s very little legislative opposition. We need to meet committee deadlines soon, and we’re asking House leaders and the House of Representatives to move this bill forward this year and pass this legislation.”

The Restore the Vote Coalition estimates there are 47,000 Minnesotans who live in the community but are unable to vote due to a felony conviction.

Demetria Carter said she recently served 79 days in adult detention but cannot vote until her probation ends in 10 years.

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Catholic Spirit: Driver’s license bill chance to progress immigration discussion

(by Jason Adkins)
March 12, 2015

Imagine St. Joseph, struggling in Egypt to support his family as they awaited a time to return home. Or, think of the daily trials the Holy Family faced as they fled the dangers in their homeland. These are problems that many migrants confront on a daily basis as they try to make their way in a new land.

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Catholic Spirit: Affordable housing, education choice included in bishops’ discussions with lawmakers


Archbishop John Nienstedt talks with St. Ambrose of Woodbury parishioner and State Rep. Kelly Fenton, R-Woodbury, in her office at the State Office Building March 5. All of the bishops in Minnesota came for the day at the Capitol annual event, coordinated by the Minnesota Catholic Conference. Dave Hrbacek/The Catholic Spirit

(by Maria Wiering)
March 6, 2015

Bishops from each of Minnesota’s six dioceses met with Gov. Mark Dayton and state lawmakers March 5 to discuss legislation on a range of issues, from immigration and education to poverty relief and commercial gestational surrogacy.

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The Visitor: State’s Catholic bishops highlight policy priorities in meetings with governor, legislators


Bishop Donald Kettler walks with fellow Minnesota bishops as the visit legislators in St. Paul March 5.

(by Joe Towalski)
March 6, 2015

For Bishop Donald Kettler and the other Catholic bishops of Minnesota, spending a “day on the hill” March 5 with Gov. Mark Dayton and state lawmakers was an important opportunity to talk about the church’s public policy priorities, exchange ideas and look for common ground on key issues.

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Catholic Spirit: Affordable housing in interest of common good

(by Ben Jones)
February 25, 2015

This year, the Minnesota Catholic Conference has joined other organizations in supporting the Homes for All agenda currently before the Minnesota Legislature.

The Homes for All proposal invests $39 million to address a spectrum of housing needs, such as developing more affordable housing, providing services to prevent homelessness and making available rental assistance to low income families.

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Catholic Spirit: Dangers of surrogacy should prompt preventative action

(by Kathryn Mollen)
February 12, 2015

In 2014, the Minnesota Catholic Conference worked to successfully stop problematic legislation that would have legitimized commercial surrogacy contracts, which are currently not recognized under Minnesota law. This session, MCC is advocating for legislation that would establish a commission to study the issues and concerns associated with surrogacy arrangements, including how to ensure that we protect vulnerable women and children from potential exploitation and commodification.

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News Release (USCCB): USCCB and Other Religious and Pro-Life Organizations Urge Congress to Protect Fundamental Freedoms in the District of Columbia

Recently enacted laws in the city are “unprecedented assaults”
Violate freedoms protected by the First Amendment, federal laws
Prevent religious and pro-life employers from making employment decisions consistent with their mission


WASHINGTON, D.C. (February 6, 2015)—Two recently enacted laws in the District of Columbia are “unprecedented assaults upon our organizations” and “violate the freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and freedom of association protected by the First Amendment and other federal law,” said representatives of a number of national and local organizations, including the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), in a February 5 letter to Congress.

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News Release (USCCB): Bishop Says National Marriage Week USA, World Marriage Day, Provide Opportunities To Celebrate Marriage and Support Married Couples

National Marriage Week observed February 7-14; World Marriage Day February 8
Opportunities to ‘celebrate the gift and blessing of marriage,’ says Bishop Malone
USCCB providing daily virtual marriage retreat for National Marriage Week


WASHINGTON, D.C. (February 4, 2015)—In a letter sent to all U.S. bishops on January 16, Bishop Richard J. Malone of Buffalo, New York, chairman of the Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), hailed National Marriage Week USA (February 7-14) and World Marriage Day (Sunday, February 8) as opportunities “to celebrate the gift and blessing of marriage and to affirm and support engaged and married couples.”

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News Release (USCCB): Cardinal O’Malley and Archbishop Wenski Welcome Supreme Court Decision To Review Protocols for Use of Lethal Injection

WASHINGTON, D.C. (January 27, 2015)—The chairs of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development and Committee on Pro-life Activities welcomed the U.S. Supreme Court’s January 23 announcement that it would review the drug protocols of lethal injection executions in the state of Oklahoma. The court will consider whether the procedures violate the U.S. Constitution’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment.

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