News and Legislative Updates

//News and Legislative Updates
207, 2018

ICC Newsletter – July 2, 2018

Iowa Supreme Court strikes down abortion reflection period By a vote of 5-2, the Iowa Supreme Court has struck down a provision providing for a three-day reflection period before an abortion can take place. We [...]

406, 2018

ICC Newsletter – June 4, 2018

Primary elections are being held tomorrow (Tuesday, June 5) for political parties to select their candidates for office. Polls are open from 7 a.m. until 9 p.m. Voter registration or a change in party affiliation are [...]

406, 2018

Iowa Catholic Conference Review of the 2018 Legislative Session

June 4, 2018 As Catholics, our cause is the defense of human life and dignity and the protection of the weak and vulnerable … the principles of Catholic social teaching – dignity of the human [...]

1405, 2018

ICC Newsletter – May 14, 2018

A few quick updates: The U.S. Catholic bishops’ social justice department has issued an action alert regarding the federal Farm Bill. Please contact your member of Congress today at and ask them to insist on changes [...]

705, 2018

ICC Newsletter – May 7, 2018: Legislative session ends

The Iowa legislature adjourned “sine die” on Saturday, ending the 2018 session of the 87th General Assembly. We are very grateful that many of you contacted your legislator during the past few days. The Iowa [...]

405, 2018

Bishops’ statement following signing of “heartbeat” abortion ban – May 4, 2018

The Iowa Catholic Conference is pleased the Legislature has taken action in Senate File 359 to stop any trafficking in fetal body parts following an abortion and supports the life-affirming intent of the provision to [...]

2904, 2018

ICC Newsletter – April 30, 2018

The Iowa legislative session is in overtime as lawmakers are into their third week of not receiving their per diem expense checks. However, the session may end this week as Gov. Kim Reynolds and House [...]

2304, 2018

Understanding and responding to “anti-sanctuary city” legislation

With the passage of Senate File 481, the state of Iowa has changed the relationship of local law enforcement with the Immigration Control Enforcement agency. The bishops of Iowa opposed the legislation, known as the [...]

2204, 2018

ICC Newsletter – April 23, 2018

It appears that Republican leaders in the Iowa House and Senate are getting closer to an agreement on tax reform and the state budget. The House is proposing an increase in state spending of $235 [...]

1504, 2018

ICC Newsletter – April 16, 2018

The Iowa Catholic Conference was disappointed that Gov. Reynolds signed the immigration enforcement bill, Senate File 481, last week. The Catholic bishops of Iowa had sent a letter to the governor asking for a veto. [...]

904, 2018

ICC Newsletter – April 9, 2018

Senate File 481, the immigration enforcement bill, passed the Iowa House and Senate last week and is going the governor for her signature. The Iowa Catholic Conference opposed the bill. Among other provisions, the bill [...]

804, 2018

Bishops ask for veto of immigration enforcement legislation – Senate File 481

We, the Catholic Bishops of Iowa, have voiced principled opposition to Senate File 481 and are profoundly disappointed that it was passed by the Legislature. We ask Governor Reynolds to do the right thing and veto [...]

204, 2018

ICC Newsletter – April 2, 2018

Typically Holy Week is a slower week at the State Capitol. That was true this year as well. Three issues of interest did not see any floor or committee action last week: The good news [...]

2503, 2018

ICC Newsletter – March 26, 2018

All parents, regardless of address or income, deserve the ability to make choices in education that reflect their basic convictions and aspirations for their child. A new bill to provide for Education Savings Grants, Senate [...]

1903, 2018

Death penalty bills fail

Bills to bring back the death penalty in Iowa have failed to advance.  Keep an eye on our Action Center at for any action alerts if proposals "come back to life". Click here to download [...]

1903, 2018

Tax reform proposals

The Iowa Senate and House will be negotiating on tax reform provisions during the next several weeks on the 2018 session. The bishops of Iowa have said there are two basic moral principles that should [...]

1803, 2018

ICC Newsletter – March 19, 2018

The second legislative deadline - called the “second funnel” – was last Friday. Only bills that have passed a committee in both chambers remain eligible, except for budget- and tax-related legislation. Senate File 359 made [...]

1203, 2018

ICC supports bill to prevent ‘wrongful birth’ claims

This week the Iowa Senate Judiciary Committee may consider HF 2405, a bill that will prevent a cause of action that allows a parent to bring a lawsuit claiming a child should have been aborted [...]

1103, 2018

ICC Newsletter – March 12, 2018

The U.S. Congress will decide soon, most likely this week, whether to include the Conscience Protection Act (CPA) in must-pass government funding legislation. Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, chair of the U.S. Conference [...]

503, 2018

ICC comments on “heartbeat” legislation following Senate passage

The Iowa Catholic Conference supports the life-affirming intent of “heartbeat” abortion legislation such as Senate File 2281. We appreciate legislators for their efforts to advance the protection of unborn children and we remain committed to [...]

403, 2018

ICC Newsletter – March 5, 2018

IMMIGRATION ISSUES Thanks to those of you who were able to call Congress in support of Dreamers. More than 48,000 calls were made to the DC offices of U.S. Senators and Representatives. Also last week, [...]

203, 2018

ICC comments on House tax reform bill, HSB 671

The Iowa Catholic Conference offers these comments on House Study Bill 671 based on the principles of taxation found in Catholic social teaching. There are two basic moral principles that should govern the collection and [...]

2502, 2018

ICC Newsletter – Feb. 26, 2018

First, a reminder. Today, Monday, is the U.S. bishops’ national Call-in Day for Dreamers. You are asked to contact your members of Congress to help the nearly 1.8 million “Dreamers,” who are young people without [...]

2302, 2018

ICC comments on Senate File 2383, the “Iowa Working Families Tax Relief Act”

Lawmakers are proposing a set of wide-ranging and complex changes to Iowa’s tax code and approaching the process at a pace that makes it difficult even for experts to analyze the total effect of the [...]

1902, 2018

Iowa Catholic Conference Newsletter – Feb. 19, 2018

The first legislative “funnel” deadline was last Friday. That means any bill that has not passed out of a committee by now is, in theory, dead for the session, with the exception of budget and [...]

1802, 2018

ICC opposes Constitutional amendments making regulation of guns more difficult

The Iowa Catholic Conference opposes state Constitutional amendments that would make the regulation of guns more difficult. The amendments would need to pass both chambers of the legislature in two successive General Assemblies before being [...]

1102, 2018

ICC Newsletter – Feb. 11, 2018

The first Iowa legislative deadline is coming up. Any non-budget bill has to pass out of a committee in one chamber by Friday to remain eligible. Legislation addressing one of the ICC’s major priorities was [...]

1102, 2018

ICC comments on ‘heartbeat’ abortion ban

The ICC provided the following comments to a Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Feb. 8, 2018 regarding SSB 3143, a bill to stop abortion after a heartbeat can be detected: The Iowa Catholic Conference supports the [...]

602, 2018

Iowa bishops oppose death penalty – Feb. 6, 2018

2018 statement on death penalty final We speak in opposition to the use of the death penalty in any form and to its possible reinstatement in Iowa. Marking the 25th anniversary of the Catechism of [...]

502, 2018

Addressing the challenge of water quality

Gov. Kim Reynolds has signed Senate File 512, a bill that builds on efforts to address water quality challenges across the state of Iowa. The new law is estimated to generate more than $280 million [...]

402, 2018

ICC Newsletter – Feb. 4, 2018

There was some good news at the State Capitol last week. While the House’s bill to bring back the death penalty, House Study Bill 569, passed out of a subcommittee, it looks like there aren’t [...]

2801, 2018

ICC Newsletter – Jan. 28, 2018

Activity is picking up at the State Capitol as several issues of concern to Catholics are being considered. There is a subcommittee meeting scheduled in the House on Tuesday to consider Senate File 481. This [...]

2101, 2018

ICC Newsletter – Jan. 21, 2018

It was another short week at the state Capitol as Iowans celebrated the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday last Monday. A bill to bring back the death penalty was introduced Thursday in the Iowa Senate. [...]

2001, 2018

Bills introduced to bring back the death penalty

While the House’s bill to bring back the death penalty, House Study Bill 569, passed out of a subcommittee, it looks like there aren’t enough votes to bring it out of the full House Public Safety [...]

1401, 2018

ICC Newsletter – Jan. 14, 2018

The 2018 session of the General Assembly convened last Monday. Much of the week was taken up by reports to the legislature by the executive branch, courts and the Iowa National Guard. The legislature will [...]

801, 2018

ICC Youtube video on immigration policy issues

With the help of the Diocese of Des Moines, the Iowa Catholic Conference has produced a short video about current federal and state immigration policy issues and what you can do to help. Take a [...]

401, 2018

ICC Newsletter – Jan. 4, 2018: Legislative session to convene next week

The second session of the 87th Iowa General Assembly is set to convene on Monday, when legislative leaders will address the chambers to talk about their plans for the session. Coming up on Tuesday is [...]

1812, 2017

2018 Legislative Priorities and Principles

The Iowa Catholic Conference’s legislative priorities were formulated in consultation with its Human Life and Dignity Committee and Education Committee, and approved by the Iowa Catholic Conference Board of Directors. Items may be added or [...]

1812, 2017

ICC Newsletter – Nov. 22, 2017

We at the Iowa Catholic Conference are very grateful for your participation in our legislative network and willingness to take action on important concerns. We pray you have a Happy Thanksgiving! USCCB PRESIDENT CALLS FOR [...]

1812, 2017

ICC Newsletter – Dec. 10, 2017

As often happens at the end of the year, Congress is addressing some important issues related to human life and dignity. Many families affected by migration here in the United States need our support and [...]

2709, 2017

ICC Newsletter – Sept. 27, 2017

        Pope Francis today launched a worldwide, two-year “Share the Journey” campaign calling on Catholics to ‘encounter’ migrants and refugees in an effort to break down barriers of fear and suspicion and [...]

109, 2017

Iowa bishops support DACA youth – Sept. 1, 2017

The Catholic bishops of Iowa have contacted Iowa’s congressional delegation in support of DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) youth and the Dream Act of 2017. You are encouraged to contact our members of Congress on [...]

2808, 2017

ICC Newsletter – Aug. 28, 2017

First things first. Let’s keep in our prayers the people who are facing Hurricane Harvey. Our colleagues at the Texas Catholic Conference have sent along a link from Catholic Charities USA in case you’re interested [...]

1707, 2017

ICC Newsletter – July 17, 2017

HEALTH CARE REFORM STILL AT ISSUE The U.S. Senate is still working on a health care reform bill called the “Better Care Reconciliation Act.” In response to a newly-released version, Bishop Frank J. Dewane of [...]

2706, 2017

ICC Newsletter – updated action alert on health care, June 27, 2017

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has sent out an updated action alert regarding the Senate health care bill. You can find the alert and take action at The USCCB is recommending [...]

2306, 2017

ICC Newsletter – June 23, 2017

The U.S. Senate is working on its version of a health care bill. The House passed its own bill last month. Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida, Chairman of the U.S. Bishops’ Committee on [...]

3105, 2017

Retired Archbishop Daniel Kucera, OSB, dies at age 94

The following news release is from the Archdiocese of Dubuque. Dubuque, Iowa - Archbishop Emeritus Daniel W. Kucera, OSB, died May 30, 2017, at Stonehill Care Center in Dubuque, Iowa. He was 94 years old. [...]

2505, 2017

ICC Newsletter – May 25, 2017

The Catholic bishops of Iowa have released a statement reviewing the 2017 Iowa legislative session. Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds is now serving as governor following the resignation of Gov. Terry Branstad. In her inaugural address, [...]

505, 2017

20-week abortion prohibition signed by Governor

Iowa Catholic Conference staff was pleased to be present when Gov. Terry Branstad signed Senate File 471 on May 5. The bill prohibits abortion after 20 weeks post-fertilization with exceptions to save the life of [...]

2504, 2017

Vocation of the Agricultural Leader

The “Vocation of the Agricultural Leader,” published in 2016, is a collaboration of the International Catholic Rural Association, the Pontifical Council of Justice and Peace and Catholic Rural Life of the United States. The document, [...]

2404, 2017

ICC Newsletter – April 24, 2017 – legislative session ends

The Iowa legislative session ended Saturday morning at 7:15 a.m. after pulling an all-nighter. Here are a few updates from the past week: The Senate passed Senate File 471 and sent it to the governor. [...]

1904, 2017

Msgr. Thomas Zinkula named bishop-elect of Davenport

Msgr. Thomas Robert Zinkula has been appointed by Pope Francis to succeed Bishop Martin Amos as the bishop of Davenport, Iowa. Bishop-elect Zinkula’s installation Mass is scheduled for June 22. He is currently assigned as [...]

1604, 2017

ICC Newsletter – April 17, 2017

Although the state legislature may be moving towards adjournment in the next week or two, there are still several issues where your input can make a difference. Thanks for your contacts last week with legislators [...]

1004, 2017

ICC Newsletter – April 10, 2017

First things first – we pray you have a blessed Holy Week! On to the news … Senate File 471, the bill to prohibit abortions after 20 weeks post-fertilization, passed the House with an amendment [...]

304, 2017

ICC Newsletter – April 3, 2017

The second legislative “funnel” deadline was on Friday. Other than budget and tax bills, legislation was required to have passed one chamber and through a committee in the other chamber to remain eligible. Keep in [...]

204, 2017

Religious diversity strengthens religious freedom

Download the event flier here. Sixty-five students, two years, fifteen faith communities, one freedom. This may be one way to summarize the numbers behind an eye-opening experience for dozens of Drake University students who set [...]

2703, 2017

Three pro-life bills continue to make their way in the 2017 session

The current legislative session presents an opportunity to take action on pro-life issues and ICC and our allies are lobbying to advance three bills that have survived the first funnel date. Each bill addresses an [...]

2703, 2017

ICC Newsletter – March 27, 2017

Appropriations bills for state departments are being introduced at the legislature, which is usually a sign that the session is heading into its last month or so. A bill outlawing trafficking in fetal body parts, [...]

2203, 2017

Legislature to discuss funding for mental health services

As Pope Francis has said, “Health, indeed, is not a consumer good, but a universal right which means that access to healthcare services cannot be a privilege." One of the ways the issue of healthcare [...]

1903, 2017

ICC Newsletter, March 20, 2017

LAST WEEK AT THE STATE CAPITOL A bill to restrict abortions after 20 weeks post-fertilization, Senate File 471, has passed the Senate by a vote of 32-17. The vote was mainly along party lines with [...]

1303, 2017

ICC Newsletter, March 13, 2017

Thanks for your quick response to our action alert supporting an increase in Iowa’s minimum wage. Unfortunately an effort to bring up an amendment to increase the minimum wage to $10.75 failed in the House [...]

503, 2017

ICC Newsletter – first legislative deadline – March 6, 2017

The first legislative “funnel” deadline was last Thursday. That means any bill that has not passed out of a committee by now is dead for the session, with the exception of budget and tax bills. [...]

2602, 2017

ICC Newsletter – Feb. 26, 2017

Our newsletter is extra lengthy this week because of the upcoming first legislative deadline. Bills are required to pass their first committee by Friday to remain eligible, with the exception of bills related to budget [...]

1902, 2017

ICC Newsletter – Feb. 19, 2017

Almost all other work stopped at the state capitol last week as debate focused on a bill to limit collective bargaining rights for public sector union members (HF 291). The bill passed both chambers on [...]

1202, 2017

ICC Newsletter – Feb. 12, 2017

ACTION ALERTS Please contact your legislator regarding House File 265, the successor bill to HSB 67. The bill is a piece of “enforcement-only” immigration legislation. It passed the House Public Safety Committee last week and [...]

1002, 2017

Bishops speak out on labor and the common good

In light of the Iowa Legislature’s debate on changes to the collective bargaining law for public employees, the Iowa Catholic Conference (ICC) has again released its statement on “Labor and the Common Good” issued in [...]

602, 2017

ICC Newsletter – Feb. 6, 2017

The Iowa Catholic Conference is asking for your help with two new action alerts. Many of you have already sent in a message on one of these issues - if so, thank you! Oppose House [...]

2901, 2017

ICC Newsletter – Jan. 30, 2017

REACTION TO IMMIGRATION/REFUGEE ORDERS On Friday, President Trump issued an order related to refugees. According to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the order will virtually shut down the refugee admissions program for 120 days, [...]

2301, 2017

ICC Newsletter – Jan. 23, 2017

New resources posted on Education Savings Accounts We are working to encourage state legislators to pass an Education Savings Account program this year. Some new resources have been posted on our website, including a link [...]

1901, 2017

Education Savings Accounts for Iowa

“Consequently, the public power, which has the obligation to protect and defend the rights of citizens, must see to it, in its concern for distributive justice, that public subsidies are paid out in such a [...]

1601, 2017

ICC Newsletter – Jan. 16, 2017

Bills introduced to “defund” abortion providers; eliminate regulation of guns The Iowa legislative session began last week with the introduction of some bills of interest to the Iowa Catholic Conference and the Governor’s “Condition of [...]

1101, 2017

New Lenten Booklet reflects on Iowa’s environment, Laudato Si’

Download the booklet here: CaringForOurCommonHome-Web With the season of Lent approaching, parishes and schools across Iowa are invited to journey towards a greater understanding of our state’s ecological and environmental issues, with the help of a [...]

801, 2017

ICC Newsletter – Jan. 8, 2017

The 87th Iowa General Assembly convenes on Monday. Most of the first week is taken up by the usual ceremonies and organizational meetings of committees. During the first day, legislative leaders address the chambers to [...]

2012, 2016

ICC Newsletter – Dec. 20, 2016

LEGISLATIVE KICKOFF WEBINARS One of our top priorities during the upcoming legislative session is to encourage passage of a flexible Education Savings Account (ESA) program in Iowa. In preparation for the session, our partners at [...]

1312, 2016

Sign up for the Institute for Social Action – Participate in the Mass for Life

It’s time to sign up for the Iowa Institute for Social Action! Registration is now live at The Institute will prepare leaders to advocate for the social concerns of the Catholic Church. This year’s event will [...]

2811, 2016

ICC Newsletter – Nov. 28, 2016

We hope you had a blessed Thanksgiving. Time to get back to work! One of our top priorities during the upcoming legislative session is to encourage passage of an Education Savings Account (ESA) program in [...]

1011, 2016

ICC Newsletter – Nov. 10, 2016

Most of the election coverage has been focused on the presidential race but we pay attention to the Iowa Statehouse. Tuesday’s elections resulted in the Republicans gaining control of the Iowa Senate. They picked up [...]

211, 2016

ICC Newsletter – Nov. 2, 2016

"Making decisions in the light of our faith will not be easy, and it may lead us to a place we don't want to go. But it is our life-long obligation to say "yes" to [...]

2810, 2016

2017 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 [...]

1410, 2016

ICC Newsletter – Oct. 14, 2016

What should we be looking for in leaders? “Those with political responsibilities must not forget or underestimate the moral dimension of political representation, which consists in the commitment to share fully in the destiny of [...]

1909, 2016

ICC Newsletter – Sept. 19, 2016

“As faithful Catholics, we must consider every issue and candidate through the lens of God’s Word.” Faithful Citizenship for Iowa Catholics, 2016 While most political attention is being paid these days to the presidential campaign, [...]

1609, 2016

Opposition to “physician assisted suicide” motivated by compassion

By Archbishop Michael Jackels of the Archdiocese of Dubuque Advocates for physician-assisted suicide (PAS) in Iowa have recently begun efforts to get it legalized here, promoting legislation under the name of “Death with Dignity.” This [...]

1609, 2016

Seeking the face of Christ in suffering

By Bishop R. Walker Nickless of the Diocese of Sioux City   Supporters of “doctor-prescribed suicide” often say it is needed to alleviate pain and suffering. In fact, intractable pain is way down the list [...]

1609, 2016

Tending the garden of our lives

By Bishop Martin Amos of the Diocese of Davenport In the Book of Genesis, we read that the first couple was commissioned to care for the Garden that God had planted. They were to serve [...]

1609, 2016

Compassionate, faith-filled care at the end of life

By Bishop Richard Pates of the Diocese of Des Moines Pope Francis often refers to travelling the journey with the vulnerable, especially in this Jubilee Year of Mercy. But what does it concretely look like [...]

3108, 2016

ICC Newsletter – Aug. 31, 2016

As a part of the Iowa bishops’ Faithful Citizenship effort, we ask you to pray for those who are in public service or running for office, that they may use their position to protect the [...]

1508, 2016

ICC Newsletter – Aug. 15, 2016 – Bishops release “faithful citizenship” statement

The Iowa bishops have released their “Faithful Citizenship for Iowa Catholics” statement for the 2016 general election. The Catholic Church does not endorse or oppose candidates or political parties. However, it contributes to the political [...]

1807, 2016

ICC Newsletter – July 18, 2016

Lately every week seems to bring news of a violent tragedy that has taken place in our country. These events have brought new attention to related public policy issues as well. The president of the [...]

1507, 2016

Catholics encouraged to take action in the political arena with a properly-formed conscience

The Iowa Catholic Conference (ICC) has released its “Faithful Citizenship for Iowa Catholics” flier for distribution in advance of the 2016 general election. The Catholic Church does not endorse or oppose candidates or political parties. [...]

2306, 2016

ICC Newsletter – June 23, 2016

The U.S. bishops’ “Fortnight for Freedom” is underway. For more information check out the blog post on our website. Here’s one reason why new legislation protecting religious freedom is necessary. Earlier this week, the U.S. [...]

806, 2016

Ombudsman position can be another step in supporting options for Iowa students

Iowa public and non-public schools, along with Iowa parents, are partners in offering an education system for all of our state’s children. President Obama signed the Every Student Succeeds Act, or ESSA, into law last [...]

706, 2016

Reforming the payday loan industry

In early June the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) proposed new rules regulating lenders in the payday loan industry. Although the bureau is more limited than state legislatures when imposing rules on lenders, the [...]

606, 2016

ICC Newsletter – June 6, 2016

PRIMARY ELECTIONS ARE TOMORROW The political parties’ primary elections are being held tomorrow, Tuesday, June 7. Polls are open from 7 a.m. until 9 p.m. Voter registration, or a change in party affiliation, are allowed [...]

606, 2016

‘Save the Date’ for the Iowa Institute for Social Action, Jan. 15-16, 2017

It’s time to “save the date” for the 2017 Iowa Institute for Social Action. The Institute is our leadership-training event for advocates of the human life and dignity teachings of the Church. It will be [...]

3105, 2016

ICC board reviewed legislative session

The Iowa Catholic Conference (ICC) met on Thursday, May 19, at Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart Church in Ankeny. The bishops of the four dioceses of Iowa and advisory board members gathered to review the past [...]

3105, 2016

ICC Newsletter – May 31, 2016

Work on the 2016 legislative session is all wrapped up now that the governor has signed the appropriations bills. Click here for a complete review of the session on our website. There was the usual [...]

2705, 2016

Report on 2016 legislative session

Now that the 2016 legislative session is completed, and the governor has signed the appropriations bills, it’s time for our annual review of the session from the perspective of the Iowa Catholic Conference and its [...]

205, 2016

ICC Newsletter – legislature adjourns – May 2, 2016

The Iowa General Assembly concluded its 2016 session on Friday. The last part of the session is almost always focused on budget items. Here are a few notes from the last couple of days of [...]

2504, 2016

ICC Newsletter – April 25, 2016

Welcome to our weekly report as the legislature considers the last few bills of the session. There’s still time to contact your legislator by going to our Action Center at On Friday the Iowa [...]

1804, 2016

Religious Liberty: “It’s a claim about what a human being is”

The only way to insure respectful and flourishing human communities is to respect a notion of the human person that integrates all aspects of their humanity. This year's "Fortnight for Freedom: Witnesses to Freedom" will [...]

1804, 2016

Bringing the science of conservation to classrooms

The state of Iowa is blessed with attributes that combine to make it the top producer in the nation of food and commodities consumed across the country and around the world. The challenge for Iowans [...]

1804, 2016

ICC Newsletter – April 18, 2016

Budget bills are moving at the State Capitol and legislators are aiming to finish the session by the end of the week. House File 2460 is the appropriations bill for health and human services. It [...]

1104, 2016

ICC Newsletter – April 11, 2016

First, I’d like to say a word of welcome to our many new subscribers. We really appreciate your taking action on issues that are important to you! A bill to set up a pilot program [...]

704, 2016

ICC supports RefugeeRISE bill

(Update: $300,000 in funding for RefugeeRISE made it into the state budget!) The Iowa Catholic Conference supports SF 2298, a bill to support Iowa workforce needs and provide job readiness skills to refugees in Iowa. [...]

404, 2016

ICC Newsletter – April 4, 2016

COMING UP THIS WEEK A subcommittee meeting is scheduled for early this afternoon (Monday) for House File 2284, a bill that would create a pilot Education Savings Accounts (ESAs) program. The establishment of ESAs is [...]

1803, 2016

ICC Newsletter – March 18, 2016

Two bills supported by the Iowa Catholic Conference were passed by the legislature and sent to the governor this week: House File 2386 passed the Senate 49-0. The bill enables the termination of parental rights [...]

1403, 2016

ICC supports disaster case management bill

The Iowa Catholic Conference supports SF 492, a bill to offer Iowans access to case management services in the event of a disaster. The bill is currently in the House Appropriations Committee. If your legislator is [...]

1103, 2016

ICC Newsletter – March 11, 2016

As attention turns to budget matters at the legislature, we are asking for your help on a bill that would support refugees who have resettled in Iowa. SF 2298 would expand the current “RefugeeRISE” program [...]

603, 2016

ICC Newsletter – March 6, 2016

The Iowa Catholic Conference (ICC) supports HF 2329, a bill to prohibit the trafficking and use of fetal tissue following an abortion. It was set to be debated last week on the floor of the [...]

2902, 2016

ICC Newsletter – Feb. 29, 2016

If you sent a message to your legislator last week through our Action Center last week, thank you! If you haven’t yet done so, we would appreciate your taking action on these two bills: House [...]

2202, 2016

ICC Newsletter – Feb. 22, 2016 – First legislative deadline report

Last Friday was the first legislative deadline when bills were required to pass out of a committee to remain eligible (with exceptions for budget and tax bills). In the wake of the deadline we’re asking [...]

1502, 2016

ICC Newsletter – Feb. 15, 2016

The Iowa Catholic Conference legislative breakfast takes place tomorrow at the State Capitol. The Iowa bishops, along with ICC board and committee members, will be meeting in an informal setting with legislators who stop by. [...]

702, 2016

ICC Newsletter – Feb. 8, 2016

It was a short week at the state capitol last week with the Iowa Caucuses on Monday and a snowstorm on Tuesday. The precinct caucuses saw record turnout on the Republican side and high attendance [...]

2901, 2016

ICC Newsletter – Jan. 29, 2016

Iowa Catholic Conference staff participated in a meeting held at the University of Notre Dame this week discussing strategies to increase access and improve the quality of Catholic schools. Diocesan superintendents and representatives of state [...]

2201, 2016

ICC Newsletter – Jan. 22, 2016

Not all of the political activity in Iowa these days relates to the caucuses. The state legislature is back in session as well. Senate File 84 was considered in a Senate subcommittee on Tuesday. The [...]

1501, 2016

ICC Newsletter – Jan. 15, 2016

The Iowa legislative session began on Monday with the usual ceremonies and opening statements by leaders. Rep. Linda Upmeyer (R-Clear Lake) was sworn in as Iowa’s first female Speaker of the House. She said that [...]

801, 2016

ICC Newsletter – Jan. 8, 2016 – legislative session preview

We hope to see you at the Midwest March for Life coming up on Saturday, Jan. 16. The event is sponsored by Iowa Right to Life. Check out the flier here. There will be a [...]

2212, 2015

Caucus like a Catholic

“We . . . have a duty to inform ourselves about issues so as to vote conscientiously. Everyone guides his or her choices by something. For Catholics, that something should be the teachings of Christ [...]

2212, 2015

ICC Newsletter – Dec. 22, 2015

We asked for your help last week on three issues related to the omnibus bill ultimately signed into law by President Obama. Unfortunately, the abortion non-discrimination (ANDA) provisions we were working for did not make [...]

1112, 2015

Contact Congress now

There’s much activity in Washington, D.C. as Congress works to pass an omnibus appropriations bill. The U.S. bishops’ conference is asking for your help on three issues: We still have the opportunity to stand up [...]

2011, 2015

ICC Newsletter – Nov. 20, 2015

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is asking for your help in urging Congress to protect the right of conscientious objection to abortion. Can you imagine if you had spent years training to help the [...]

1711, 2015

Statement on Syrian refugees – November 2015

Nov. 17, 2015 The recent movement of 27 governors in the United States to apparently oppose entrance to Syrian refugees to their respective states (CNN, 11/16/2015) revives an embarrassing experience in our country’s history. During [...]

311, 2015

ICC Newsletter – Nov. 3, 2015

‘VOTE TO END HUNGER’ Additional presenters and supporters have been announced for Sunday’s interfaith and bipartisan “Vote To End Hunger Rally” at Grand View University in Des Moines. Rep. Mark Smith, (D-Marshalltown), Democratic leader in [...]

2210, 2015

Additional speakers announced for rally

Additional speakers have been announced for the interfaith Vote to End Hunger Rally to be held Nov. 8 at Grand View University in Des Moines. Rep. Mark Smith, (D-Marshalltown), Democratic leader in the Iowa House [...]

2210, 2015

ICC Newsletter – Oct. 22, 2016

Additional speakers have been announced for the interfaith Vote to End Hunger Rally to be held Nov. 8 at Grand View University in Des Moines. Kathie Obradovich, political columnist for the Des Moines Register, will [...]

2010, 2015

2016 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 [...]

2909, 2015

Bread for the World and ICC announce ‘Vote to End Hunger’ rally

Participants to learn how to engage candidates to make hunger a priority issue In light of Pope Francis’ address to Congress, where he said, “The fight against poverty and hunger must be fought constantly and [...]

2909, 2015

ICC Newsletter – reflections on Pope Francis’ visit to the U.S.

I was fortunate to be on the south lawn of the White House for the arrival ceremony with President Obama and Pope Francis. You can check out a photo on our Facebook page. In taking [...]

409, 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 will [...]

2508, 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 [...]

1408, 2015

ICC Newsletter – Aug. 14, 2015

SIGN UP TODAY FOR THE SCHOOL CHOICE SUMMIT 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, [...]

3107, 2015

ICC Newsletter – July 31, 2015

FAILING TO RESPECT THE DIGNITY OF HUMAN LIFE 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 [...]

907, 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 [...]

2606, 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 [...]

1906, 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 [...]

1906, 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 present [...]

1806, 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 we [...]

2205, 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 [...]

1805, 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 disagreement [...]

805, 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 [...]

405, 2015

ICC Newsletter – May 4, 2015

LAST WEEK AT THE CAPITOL 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 [...]

2604, 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 $650,000 [...]

1904, 2015

ICC Newsletter – April 20, 2015

KEEPING AN EYE ON BUDGET BILLS 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 [...]

1004, 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 session [...]

604, 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 in [...]

3003, 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 key [...]

2203, 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 imaging [...]

1603, 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 imaging [...]

703, 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 [...]

103, 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 eligible [...]

2202, 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. [...]

1502, 2015

ICC Newsletter – Feb. 15, 2015

SCHOOL START DATE 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 [...]

802, 2015

ICC Newsletter – Feb. 8, 2015

LAST WEEK AT THE CAPITOL 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. [...]

402, 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 the [...]

202, 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 signed [...]

2301, 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 school [...]

2201, 2015

ICC opposes “doctor-prescribed suicide” bills

Bills have been introduced in the Iowa House and Iowa Senate to legalize doctor-prescribed suicide, also called "physician-assisted suicide.” The Iowa Catholic Conference opposes the bills. Click on the link for a flier regarding our opposition [...]

2201, 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 [...]

1601, 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 [...]

901, 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 [...]

1812, 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 Jan. [...]

1612, 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 to [...]

812, 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 will [...]

511, 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 to [...]

3110, 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 [...]

2310, 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 state [...]

1710, 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 instances [...]

1710, 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 [...]

1510, 2014

Dr. Carolyn Woo to keynote Iowa Institute for Social Action

Dr. Carolyn Y. Woo   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. [...]

1209, 2014

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

ALERT – TAKE ACTION TODAY 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 [...]

209, 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 [...]

2808, 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 U.S. [...]

2708, 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 Family [...]

1908, 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 Parenthood [...]

1407, 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 "Protect [...]

1407, 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.       [...]

907, 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 Education, [...]

307, 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 had [...]

2606, 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 [...]

2606, 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 U.S.-Mexico [...]

606, 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 [...]

2905, 2014

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

To: Iowa Catholic Conference Legislative Network NATIONAL CALL-IN DAY FOR IMMIGRATION REFORM 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 [...]

1305, 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 amount [...]

1002, 2014

2014 Legislative Concerns and Priorities

Education 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 [...]

1002, 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 . . [...]