News and Legislative Updates

4 09, 2015

ICC Newsletter – Sept. 4, 2015

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 […]

25 08, 2015

The abuse and destruction of God’s greatest gifts

“… a widespread mentality of profit, the throwaway culture, which has today enslaved the hearts and minds of so many.” Pope Francis, on the subject of abortion

The recent revelations of Planned Parenthood’s practice of […]

14 08, 2015

ICC Newsletter – Aug. 14, 2015


Don’t forget to sign up for the Iowa School Choice Summit on Wednesday, Sept. 16. Sponsored by our partners at the Iowa Alliance for Choice in Education, […]

31 07, 2015

ICC Newsletter – July 31, 2015


The release of videos showing Planned Parenthood’s involvement with the provision of babies’ organs following an abortion has prompted much reaction.

Cardinal Sean O’Malley, OFM Cap., archbishop of […]

9 07, 2015

Report on 2015 legislative session

Making it over the finish line

The 2015 Iowa Legislative session saw hundreds of proposals introduced, but only a relative few made it from the chambers to Governor Branstad’s desk to receive his signature and […]

26 06, 2015

Bishops comment on Supreme Court marriage decision – June 2015

June 29, 2015

The US Supreme Court’s ruling on marriage saddens us. To make something legal does not mean that it is true or good. Take, for example, the ruling that legalized abortion.

Notwithstanding this ruling, […]

19 06, 2015

Statement on decision by Iowa Supreme Court on telemed abortion

June 19, 2015

We are disappointed by the Iowa Supreme Court’s decision to strike down a rule prohibiting abortions by telemedicine.

In 2013 the Iowa Board of Medicine approved a rule that required a physician to […]

19 06, 2015

Iowa Supreme Court strikes down rule prohibiting telemed abortions

The Iowa Supreme Court has struck down the Iowa Board of Medicine’s rule that essentially prohibited telemedicine (“webcam”) abortions. In 2013 the board had approved a rule that required a physician to be physically […]

18 06, 2015

Pope Francis releases encyclical letter on ecology

Pope Francis has released his encyclical letter “Laudato Si” (Praise Be to You). Addressing his letter to all the people living on the planet, the pope asks us to consider what kind of world […]

22 05, 2015

ICC Newsletter – May 22, 2015

The Iowa Senate and House have passed different versions of SF 510, the “standings” appropriations bill. The bill makes adjustments to appropriations that are required by state law.

Regarding an issue of concern to the […]

18 05, 2015

ICC Newsletter – May 18, 2015

Different week – same story. There’s still no deal at the legislature regarding funding for public schools. Republicans have proposed a $100 million increase and the Democrats have proposed a $200 million increase. This […]

8 05, 2015

ICC Newsletter – May 8, 2015

It was a fairly short but busy week at the capitol as work continued on the state budget along with a few policy items.

There are multiple reports that Democratic and Republican leaders have agreed […]

4 05, 2015

ICC Newsletter – May 4, 2015


There’s been no visible progress on the standoff over funding for public schools in Iowa. The state spends nearly $3 billion on K-12 education from the general fund. Republicans have […]

26 04, 2015

ICC Newsletter – April 27, 2015

Budget bills are starting to move in the Iowa legislature. The House Appropriations Committee is scheduled to consider the Department of Education budget bill later today (Monday). It includes status quo funding of about […]

19 04, 2015

ICC Newsletter – April 20, 2015


It looks like the Democrats, who hold the majority in the Iowa Senate, will begin work on budget bills this week. Their proposal would allow for spending from the […]

10 04, 2015

ICC Newsletter – April 10, 2015

State legislators have not been able to come to an agreement on public school funding levels. This has drastically slowed work on the state budget. Typically, a target date for the end of the […]

6 04, 2015

ICC Newsletter – April 6, 2015

The second legislative deadline was Friday. Only bills that have passed a committee in both chambers remain eligible, except for budget- and tax-related legislation. Several bills of interest to the Iowa Catholic Conference died […]

30 03, 2015

ICC Newsletter – March 30, 2015

Friday is the second “funnel” deadline for non-money related bills to be passed by one chamber and approved by a committee in the other chamber. There’s still time to contact your legislator on some […]

22 03, 2015

ICC Newsletter – March 23, 2015

Please send a message to your Senator today in support of House File 573. The bill requires that prior to performing an abortion, a physician must certify that the woman has undergone an ultrasound […]

16 03, 2015

ICC Newsletter – March 16, 2015

The Iowa House passed House File 573 last Thursday by a vote of 57-39. The bill requires that prior to performing an abortion, a physician must certify that the woman has undergone an ultrasound […]

7 03, 2015

ICC Newsletter – first legislative deadline report

Friday, March 6 was the first “funnel” deadline at the legislature. With exceptions, bills have been voted out of committee by that date to be considered during the rest of the session.

An Education Savings […]

1 03, 2015

ICC Newsletter – March 1, 2015

It’s shaping up to be an interesting week at the State Capitol. It’s “funnel” week, where non-money bills in the Iowa Legislature are required to pass a committee no later than Friday to remain […]

22 02, 2015

ICC Newsletter – Feb. 22, 2015

We’re pleased to report that two of our legislative priorities moved forward last week.

House Study Bill 138, regulating payday loans, was introduced last Monday and passed a subcommittee on Thursday. We support the bill. […]

15 02, 2015

ICC Newsletter – Feb. 15, 2015


You may have been hearing some discussion about a “start date” for Iowa’s public and nonpublic schools. Iowa law requires schools to start no earlier than the week that contains the first […]

8 02, 2015

ICC Newsletter – Feb. 8, 2015


The Iowa House Education Committee passed a bill last week to provide additional spending flexibility for nonpublic community-based preschools, such as Catholic schools, that participate in the state-funded preschool program. […]

4 02, 2015

Cardinal O’Malley Welcomes House Passage of ‘No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act’

The U.S. House of Representatives approved the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion” Act, which would codify a permanent, government-wide policy against taxpayer subsidies for abortion and abortion coverage. It also requires health plans offered under […]

2 02, 2015

ICC Newsletter – Feb. 2, 2015

Catholic Schools Week and National School Choice Week were celebrated across the state last week. Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds spoke at a school choice event held at the State Historical Building and Gov. Branstad […]

23 01, 2015

ICC Newsletter – Jan. 23, 2015

This week is Catholic Schools Week and the Iowa bishops have released a statement in support of Education Savings Accounts. ESAs would allow parents who choose not to enroll their children in a public […]

22 01, 2015

ICC opposes “doctor-prescribed suicide” bill

On Jan. 21, 2015, a bill was introduced in the Iowa House  (House File 65) to legalize doctor-prescribed suicide, also called “physician-assisted suicide.” The Iowa Catholic Conference opposes the bill.

The Iowa Catholic Conference opposes […]

22 01, 2015

Education Savings Accounts – 2015

January 2015

Parents are the ones primarily responsible for the education of their children. We believe Education Savings Accounts (ESAs) are a tool that would empower parents across our state to choose the best and […]

16 01, 2015

First week of the 2015 legislative session

The first day of the Iowa legislative session this week offered an opportunity for legislative leaders to talk about their expectations for the session. You can find the highlights on our Facebook page.

Legislators began […]

9 01, 2015

Legislative session preview, Jan. 9, 2015

The 86th General Assembly of the Iowa legislature begins this Monday, Jan. 12. Little legislative work gets done the first week other than the usual ceremonies and organizational meetings of committees.

Also coming up next […]

18 12, 2014

Iowa Catholic Conference Newsletter, December 2014

Welcome to the new members of the Iowa Catholic Conference legislative network! As we head toward Christmas, our staff is making preparations for several events in January: the start of the legislative session on […]

16 12, 2014

Updated schedule for Iowa Institute for Social Action

Here’s the updated schedule for keynotes and breakout sessions at the Iowa Institute for Social Action on Sunday and Monday, Jan. 18 and 19 at Saints John and Paul Church in Altoona, Iowa. To register go […]

8 12, 2014

ICC announces youth/young adult track for Iowa Institute for Social Action

The 2015 Iowa Institute for Social Action conference, sponsored by the Iowa Catholic Conference (ICC) and the dioceses of Iowa, will help leaders advocate for social justice in the public arena. The 2015 Institute […]

5 11, 2014

Iowa election recap

The status quo has prevailed at the state legislature in Iowa. The Democrats retained a 26-24 majority in the Iowa Senate, while the House Republicans picked up a few seats to increase their majority […]

31 10, 2014

Be guided by your moral convictions

“You must be guided by your moral convictions, not your self-interest or your attachment to a political party or interest group.”
Faithful Citizenship for Iowa Catholics, 2014
If you’re watching any TV these days, you know […]

23 10, 2014

Cleaning up Iowa’s waterways

One of the ways we show our respect for the Creator by our stewardship of creation. Among the ongoing legislative concerns of the Iowa Catholic Conference is enforcement of present environmental laws and adequate […]

17 10, 2014

ICC Newsletter – Oct. 17, 2014

Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t make a difference in the political arena. Especially when your contacts with legislators are combined with those of your friends and neighbors, I have seen many […]

17 10, 2014

2015 ICC Legislative Concerns and Priorities

“In the Catholic tradition, responsible citizenship is a virtue, and participation in political life is a moral obligation.”
Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
The Iowa Catholic Conference’s legislative agenda was formulated in […]

15 10, 2014

Dr. Carolyn Woo to keynote Iowa Institute for Social Action


Registration available here

Dr. Carolyn Y. Woo, president and CEO of Catholic Relief Services (CRS), will be the keynote speaker for the 20th Iowa Institute for Social Action. The Institute will be held on Jan. […]

12 09, 2014

Take Action Today – ICC Newsletter, Sept. 12, 2014


The U.S. Catholic bishops and Catholic Charities USA have sent an action alert in support of the Second Chance Act. Please send a message to your Senators and Representatives as […]

2 09, 2014

Bishops urge Catholics to inform their consciences; become involved in the political process

“In the Catholic tradition, responsible citizenship is a virtue; and participation in political life is a moral obligation.”
– “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship,” U.S. Catholic Bishops
The Iowa Catholic Conference has released its “Faithful Citizenship […]

28 08, 2014

U.S. Bishops’ Labor Day Statement

As we approach Labor Day, we would like to highlight the 2014 Labor Day statement from the U.S. bishops. It focuses on unemployment among young people. The statement was released by the chairman of the […]

27 08, 2014

Human Life and Dignity Committee to meet

The Iowa Catholic Conference Human Life and Dignity Committee will meet on Sept. 4 in Ankeny to consider legislative priorities ahead of the 2015 legislative session. The committee replaces the former Pro-Life, Social Concerns and […]

19 08, 2014

Good news – judge rules in favor of webcam abortion ban

A Polk County District Court judge ruled in favor of the Iowa Board of Medicine Aug. 19 and upheld its right to ban webcam abortions in Iowa. The decision is set to take effect in 30 days. Planned […]

14 07, 2014

NCHLA issues action alert on bill to limit religious liberty

The U.S. bishops’ partner organization, the National Committee for a Human Life Amendment, has issued an alert in opposition to S. 2578. The U.S. Senate may vote on this bill as early as this week. The […]

14 07, 2014

Update from Midwest Catholic Education Advocates Conference

Lucas Swanepoel, associate director for governmental relations at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), and Katherine Knight, associate director of public policy in the Secretariat of Education at the USCCB.     […]

9 07, 2014

Midwest Catholic Education Advocates conference starts today

Catholic Conference staff and others interested in education are traveling to Iowa today for the Midwest Catholic Education Advocates Conference. We’re looking forward to hearing from representatives of the Iowa Alliance for Choice in […]

3 07, 2014

Supreme Court rules on religious freedom; Action alert on funding for refugees and unaccompanied minors

This week began with a positive decision of the U.S. Supreme Court. The Court ruled that closely-held family corporations will not be required to provide insurance coverage for certain drugs. The Hobby Lobby stores […]

26 06, 2014

June 2014 ICC newsletter

The Iowa bishops have released a statement on the humanitarian issue on the southern border of the United States.

It reads, in part: “We appreciate government officials for responding as best they can to this […]

26 06, 2014

Iowa bishops’ statement on humanitarian situation at the border – June 2014

A November 2013 report from the U.S. Catholic bishops’ Committee on Migration alerted us to the ongoing increase in migration of unaccompanied children across the border. More than 52,000 unaccompanied children have crossed the […]

6 06, 2014

Immigration reform call-in days

Here’s some new information regarding upcoming Justice for Immigrants national call-in days.

Next Wednesday, June 11th is a “Leadership Call-in Day” that will send calls to the House offices of Speaker Boehner, Majority Leader Cantor, and Majority […]

29 05, 2014

National call-in day on immigration reform; Governor signs adoption tax credit

To: Iowa Catholic Conference Legislative Network


Tomorrow, May 29, is a national “call-in day” to Congress in support of immigration reform. To participate, dial this toll-free number, 1-855-589-5698, to be […]

13 05, 2014

Review of the 2014 legislative session

This is our complete report on the 2014 Iowa legislative session from the perspective of the Iowa Catholic Conference. The following pages review our key legislative and advocacy work during the 2014 session. The […]

10 02, 2014

2014 Legislative Concerns and Priorities


Supports expanding tax credits for individuals, businesses, or financial institutions who contribute to a “school tuition organization” that provides scholarships to low- and middle-income children who want to attend a nonpublic school.
Supports the equitable […]

10 02, 2014

2014 Preview of the Legislative Session

ICC Newsletter
To: Iowa Catholic Conference Legislative Network

As we try to stay warm during the latest deep-freeze, here’s a couple of news items followed by our annual preview of the legislative session . . .

We […]