This is the time of year when we’re reviewing possible legislation for the next session, doing presentations for various groups and meeting with key legislators regarding our priorities. For example, Iowa Catholic Conference staff will be speaking at the School Choice Summit coming up in a couple of weeks. It will be held Wednesday, Sept. 16 at the State Historical Museum in Des Moines. There’s still time to find out more information and sign up.

In other news, Speaker Kraig Paulsen (R-Hiawatha) of the Iowa House announced last month he would resign the post before the 2016 session and not run for re-election to his House seat. Soon after, the House GOP caucus selected current majority leader Rep. Linda Upmeyer (R-Clear Lake) to take the speaker’s post next January. Rep. Chris Hagenow (R-Windsor Heights) will replace Upmeyer as majority leader.

WORK IS MEANT FOR THE SAKE OF FAMILY

In this year’s Labor Day statement, Archbishop Thomas Wenski, chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, focuses on the creation of sufficient, decent work that honors the dignity of families.

Archbishop Wenski noted that even though work is meant for the sake of family, “Wage stagnation has increased pressures on families, as the costs of food, housing, transportation, and education continue to pile up.” He added “the violation of human dignity is evident in exploited workers, trafficked women and children, and a broken immigration system that fails people and families desperate for decent work and a better life.”

Archbishop Wenski said that, in Laudato Si’, Pope Francis challenges people to see the connections between human labor, care for creation, and honoring the dignity of the “universal family, a sublime communion which fills us with a sacred, affectionate and humble respect.”

Click here to read the entire statement.

NEW ACTION ALERT

Congress returns next Tuesday, Sept. 8. The National Committee for a Human Life Amendment (NCHLA) has a new action alert to let you have a message waiting for your Representative and Senators urging them to act to defund Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

The release of undercover videos showing a willingness by Planned Parenthood officials to traffic in fetal organs and tissue has quite properly stirred strong reactions in Congress and the general public. A bill “To prohibit Federal funding of Planned Parenthood Federation of America” was introduced in both House and Senate (S. 1881, H.R. 3301). Consideration of the Senate bill was blocked but the measure can be brought up again.

“Americans should not be forced to subsidize the nation’s largest abortion network,” said Amy McInerny, executive director of NCHLA. “H.R. 3301 would reallocate federal funds from abortion providers to mainstream health facilities so there is no reduction in funding for women’s health.”

AND FINALLY,

Pope Francis is visiting the United States later this month. You can sign up now for Papal Visit alerts on Sept. 22-27. The daily emails will include updates, resources, and ways you can act on the Holy Father’s call. The alerts will also highlight sharable content from JPHD’s Facebook and Twitter pages. Sign up now! For general information about the Pope’s visit, visit www.uspapalvisit.org.

As we enter into the fall season, keep an eye on our website at www.iowacatholicconference.org for updated content, including new blog posts. You can find us on Twitter and Facebook too. Facebook keeps bugging us to get to a totally-arbitrary milestone of 500 “Likes” so maybe you can help us out.