Inside the Capitol

  • Focusing on our most vulnerable

    Posted by · April 22, 2022 9:20 AM

    Politics—the great conversation about how we order our life together—should focus first on meeting the needs of the most vulnerable among us (cf. Matthew 25). Thousands of well-meaning proposals have been introduced by legislators. Limitations on time and resources mean priorities must be set. As House and Senate committees held hearings to decide those priorities, Minnesota Catholic Conference (MCC) advocated for two important proposals that would show a “preferential option for the poor and vulnerable.”

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  • Bishops meet with state leaders to advocate for families, the poor and vulnerable, and the common good

    Posted by · April 01, 2022 2:15 PM

    Each spring, the bishops from Minnesota’s six dioceses who comprise the Minnesota Catholic Conference convene in St. Paul to meet with the Governor and key state legislators.  The annual day of meetings, which typically occurs around the mid-point of the legislative session, helps give momentum to the advocacy of MCC staff, who are tasked with bringing the bishops’ legislative concerns to the attention of lawmakers. 

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  • Catholic Conference Supports Bills That Uphold Proper Roles of Parents and Schools

    Posted by · March 25, 2022 10:21 AM

    Across the United States, heated debates are occurring within school board meetings and state legislative hearings about the respective roles of parents and teachers in public education.  Many parents are becoming increasingly concerned that their rights are being subsumed by schools and bureaucrats who have grown comfortable using schools as ideological platforms to correct the allegedly unenlightened views that are instilled in children by their parents.  Left unchecked, these incursions into parental rights will only increase in scope and severity. Here in Minnesota, the Senate Republican Caucus has responded to these concerns by advancing a package of bills called the “Parents Bill of Rights.” 

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  • Catholic Conference speaks up for Economic and Criminal Justice

    Posted by · March 07, 2022 9:49 AM

    Larger Surplus Affirms Need to Provision Families

    The big news at the Minnesota Capitol is that our state government has a budget surplus for the ninth consecutive year. What was expected to be a $7.7 billion surplus is now up to a record $9.25 billion in excess revenue collection. As can be expected, the debate about what to do with the money has fallen into the usual zero-sum game of income tax cuts versus new spending.

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  • Supporting women and working families at the forefront of Catholic advocacy as session starts

    Posted by · February 18, 2022 3:51 PM

    Minnesota Catholic Conference staff are monitoring a flurry of bills including paid family leave, and a constitutional amendment that would empower judges to create new modes of discrimination based on the ambiguous concept of gender.

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  • Nonpublic schools doing more with less; bi-partisan opposition to assisted suicide

    Posted by · January 21, 2022 2:08 PM

    Minnesota has a longstanding policy that certain financial supports are allocated for all K-12 students irrespective of a family’s choice of school, including textbooks, nursing services, transportation, and counseling aid. Minnesota Catholic Conference (MCC), and an interfaith coalition of nonpublic school stakeholders (Nonpublic Education Partners), advocate to ensure those nonpublic pupil supports are adequately funded and easily accessible.

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  • To spend or not to spend? That is NOT the question.

    Posted by · December 20, 2021 1:13 PM

    State legislators are debating what to do with a massive budgetary windfall – an approximately $7.7 billion surplus. The news of the surplus prompted the Governor and legislative leaders from both parties to voice their spending and tax cut proposals.

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  • Legalizing sports wagers: Entertainment or Enslavement? You can bet it’s not worth the risk to lives and livelihoods.

    Posted by · November 20, 2021 1:03 PM

    Legalizing sports betting, already a prominent topic of legislative discussion, has been pushed to the front of the 2022 session chatter, with both Republicans and Democrats signaling their support, and Representative Zack Stephenson’s (DFL-Champlin) announcement that he would lead a bill in 2022 to legalize sports betting. His decision matters because he can give the bill momentum as the Chair of the House Commerce Committee, which has jurisdiction over gambling and gaming laws.

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  • Beyond Respect Life Month: Combating the throwaway culture every day at every stage

    Posted by · October 22, 2021 2:20 PM

    “Watch out, stay alert; for you do not know when the appointed time is.” (Mark 13:33) St. Mark reminds us in his Gospel that we know not when the Son of Man will return. We can apply this to our call to be faithful citizens – our call to be advocates for life, dignity, and the common good does not rest. As faithful Catholic citizens, we need to be that alert voice who has been building relationships with their legislators in order to be credible witnesses at any appointed time.

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