In the Catholic Tradition, responsible citizenship is a virtue and participation in political life and activities is a moral obligation. Each of us is responsible to address political questions, challenges and opportunities with a well formed conscience founded upon the principles of Catholic Social Teaching. Our political action, support and responsibility to vote should be guided by moral conviction and not by attachment to a political party of interest group.
The information below describes current public policy issues affecting the moral character of our society. Please review this information with the purpose of developing a well-formed conscience to guide your corresponding actions and responses towards faithful citizenship.
The Catholic Conference of Kentucky (CCK) was created in 1984 by the Roman Catholic bishops of Kentucky. Its mission is to represent the Church and the state’s four Roman Catholic dioceses in public policy matters on both the state and federal level.
The Conference seeks to promote the common good for all Kentuckians. Catholic School Teaching defines that broad term as the total of all conditions necessary- economic, political, material and cultural- which allows all people to realize their human dignity and reach their full human potential.
In Kentucky, the staff works with the General Assembly, the governor, and state agencies, advocating for the laws and policies that reflect Gospel values and the social teachings of the Church. At the federal level, the Conference’s advocacy efforts focus on Kentucky’s eight Congressional members.
The Kentucky General Assembly meets annually, for 30 days in odd-numbered years and for 60 days in even-numbered ones. Thirty-eight state senators and 100 state representatives convene to pass legislation for the governor’s signature.
During the 2014 Legislative session the Catholic Conference supported several bills – none of which became law.
HB 70: Restoration of Voting Rights
Seeks to make automatic the restoration of voting rights to ex-offenders who have fully completed the sentences imposed on them by the courts.
SB3: Defines informed consent for a patient seeking an abortion as a face to face meeting
Requires a face to face conversation with a patient in the same room prior to an abortion.
HB1: Raises the minimum wage to $8.10 per hour
HB 64: Allows class D felons ask to ask the court to expunge their criminal record. http://ccky.org/2014/03/time-to-act-on-criminal-record-expungement-bill
SB 77 & HB 330: Seeks repeal of the death penalty
HB 141: Allows businesses a tax credit for a contribution to educational institutions
Businesses that contribute money to either a 501(c)3 tuition assistance organization or an educational improvement organization can receive a tax credit to offset their state liability.
The Catholic Conference http://ccky.org/ monitors the bills that are introduced for their relevance to Catholic social teaching and decides whether to support or oppose particular bills. The website is frequency updated during the session.