Catholics to push issues with state - Catholic Courier

Catholics to push issues with state

More than 1,000 Catholics are slated to go to the state capitol in Albany on Tuesday, March 8, to lobby state officials on a variety of legislative issues, including embryonic stem-cell research, affordable housing and publicly funded health care.
 

The annual Public Policy Day is sponsored by the New York State Catholic Conference, which represents the bishops of New York state in public-policy matters.
 

About 100 Catholics from the Diocese of Rochester are expected to participate in the March 8 event, according to Judy Taylor, education and advocacy communications manager for diocesan Catholic Charities.
The bishops have identified the following seven issues a priority for the Public Policy Forum:
 

‚Ä¢ Promotion of ethical stem-cell research — in other words, research on adult stem cells — while banning embryonic stem-cell research and human cloning.
 

• Abolition of the death penalty.
 

• Parental choice and fair funding in education.
 

• Affordable, quality housing for low- and moderate-income families and individuals.Taylor noted that affordable housing is also the priority parish advocacy issue in the Rochester Diocese. She added that diocesan participants in the March 8 lobbying effort will be presenting copies of petitions signed by thousands of parishioners throughout the diocese that call on legislators to appropriate funding to create 5,000 additional affordable housing units in New York state.
 

• Funding for mental-health and chemical-dependency services.
 

• Judicial discretion in the Rockefeller Drug Laws and increased use of addiction-treatment programs.
 

• Adequate Medicaid reimbursement and enactment of reforms necessary to ensure health-care access and coverage for low- and moderate-income individuals.
 

To learn more about these issues, visit the Catholic conference Web site at www.nyscatholic.org. Training materials are posted on the Public Policy Day page.
 

The forum will begin with registration in the Empire State Convention Center at 8:30 a.m., with the general assembly beginning with a prayer service at 9:45 a.m. The general assembly will consist of speakers and presentations focusing on Catholics and political responsibility. Some participants will meet with their legislators or legislative staff to talk about issues.
Catholics from the Rochester Diocese can sign up to attend the forum online by going to www.nyscatholic.org and clicking the Public Policy Day link on the home page; by calling the conference at 518/434-6195; or contacting Taylor at 585/328-3228, ext. 1303.

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