Public policy advocacy is an extension of the heart of the Catholic Church. Initiated and guided by our Kansas Bishops, the Kansas Catholic Conference seeks public policies that reflect authentic Catholic thinking and priorities.
Statehouse Update 2023
Spiritual Warfare is real and it's happening right here in Kansas.
"Love your neighbor as yourself and pray for those who persecute you." (Mt 5:4)
Here is a quick snapshot of the activities and issues where the Kansas Catholic Conference is engaged.
UPDATE 3/21 – REDUCING THE FINANCIAL BURDEN OF ADOPTIONS IN KANSAS
SB 147, AN ACT concerning income taxation; relating to credits; increasing the tax credit amount for adoption expenses and making the credit refundable; amending K.S.A. 79-32,202a and repealing the existing section.
We know many Kansas families are willing and able to adopt a child into their loving home. Sadly, the cost of an adoption due to legal fees and more, can be a major barrier for these families. SB 147 looks to help ease the burden of some of these expenses, making adoptions more affordable for those seeking to grow their family with a loving child.
This bill had a hearing in Senate Committee on Assessment and Taxation on March 1st. Though the bill still sits in committee, we are hopeful it will soon be voted out favorably for passage.
UPDATE 3/21 – FAIRNESS IN WOMEN’S SPORTS
HB 2238, AN ACT concerning education; relating to student athletes; creating the fairness in women’s sports act; restricting participation on women’s teams to female students; providing a cause of action for violations of the act.
No other issue has been more misrepresented by the news media than this one. For the protection of women and girls—and in basic fairness to them—this bill simply states that athletic competition will only take place in schools based on one’s biological sex at birth. It does not “ban transexual athletes” as opponents have maintained—all are able to participate and play under this commonsense rule.
At the end of February, the House debated and voted on the bill, passing it 82-40. If you are interested in knowing how your Representative voted, you can do so by clicking the following link: http://www.kslegislature.org/li/b2023_24/measures/vote_view/je_20230223101523_668304/
We encourage you to reach out to your Representative and simply say “Thank you” if they voted “yes.” Or ask them why they voted “no” and explain your concerns.
With the bill passing on the House floor, it moved over into the Senate. Kansas Catholic Conference Policy Specialist, Lucrecia Nold provided testimony in favor of the bill, alongside former NCAA swimmer, Ms. Riley Gaines. Gaines not only had to compete against a biological male, she was assigned a locker room/changing room with the very same transgender athlete—a biological male. Yes, this situation is as appalling as it sounds. We encourage you to hear the entire story which can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TaXkeJqehlE
HB 2238 passed out of the Education Committee and also passed the full Senate, with 28 voting in favor and 11 opposed. To see how your Senator voted, view the following link. Again, we encourage you to reach out to your Senator and either thank them for their yes vote, or kindly ask why they voted against it.
UPDATE 3/22 – LEGAL DEFINITION OF A WOMAN
SB 180, AN ACT establishing the women’s bill of rights; providing a meaning of biological sex for purposes of statutory construction.
It is a sign of our times that we must pass a law that reinforces existing law that legally defines women and men. This law is needed to better protect women who are incarcerated, seeking refuge in a domestic shelter or other areas of Kansas life.
The Senate passed this bill 26-11. To view how your Senator voted and to contact them regarding their vote, please click the below link.
This measure now moves to the House floor for debate.
You can watch the hearing via the YouTube link below. Where, once again, you will get to hear parts of Riley Gaines’ story.
Friends, we are in a spiritual battle. The war between good and evil is ever present, right here at home in Kansas.
Please help fight this battle by reaching out to your elected officials and asking them to support these bills. And please, pray for our elected officials, that they may see God’s truth and beauty.
Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil; May God rebuke him, we humbly pray; And do thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the power of God, cast into hell Satan and all evil spirits who prowl throughout the world seeking the ruin of souls.
UPDATE 3/22 – WE WILL NOT ABANDON THE MOMS OR BABIES!
HB 2429, AN ACT concerning abortion; establishing the alternatives to abortion program and the alternatives to abortion public awareness program; providing services that promote childbirth to women facing unplanned pregnancies; establishing requirements and penalties for failure to fulfill program contract requirements; promoting public awareness of such services.
In wake of the defeat of the Value Them Both amendment, the Kansas Catholic Conference made a commitment to not abandon the moms and babies. HB 2429 is part of that commitment.
If passed, the Alternatives to Abortion Program would establish a grant process allowing Kansas pregnancy centers and maternity homes to apply for funds to help them with their mission. These funds could be used for a wide range of services and needs–from material items, educational classes, housing assistance, to staff to help further provide care and support to families in need.
Several directors from area PRC’s and maternity homes traveled to Topeka to provide in person testimony in support of the bill. To those individuals, THANK YOU.
The bill has been passed out of committee and now awaits a debate and vote on the House floor.
If you would like to watch and listen to the hearing for this bill, you can do so here (Testimony starts around minute 22):
ALL BABIES BORN ALIVE DESERVE CARE—EVEN AFTER A FAILED ABORTION
HB 2313, AN ACT concerning health and healthcare; creating the born-alive infants protection act; providing legal protections for infants born alive; requiring certain standards of care by healthcare providers for infants who are born alive; providing criminal penalties and civil liability for violations of the act; amending K.S.A. 65-445 and repealing the existing section.
In continuing with our goal to not abandon moms and babies, HB 2313 creates the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act. This bill, if signed into law, would require that any baby born alive from an attempted abortion, be treated with proper medical care for his or her gestational age. Simply put, these babies are human beings and deserve proper love and care as any human, instead of being left to die in a corner, alone, or worse, killed by the abortionist or other present staff.
Are babies really surviving their abortions and being born alive? Yes. There are several resources out there providing statics of how many individuals survive their abortion attempts. An entire network has even been created specifically for these individuals to help aid in healing, called the Abortion Survivors Network.
Providing support for the bill were a couple Kansas doctors and an abortion survivor. One doctor, Representative Ron Bryce of Coffeyville, shared a story of his own personal experience, treating a baby who had survived an abortion. The testimony was powerful and emotional. Listen to his testimony and others from the link provided.
WE WILL NOT ABANDON MOMS AND BABIES!
After the unfortunate loss of Value Them Both back in August, we made the conscious decision that we would not abandon the moms and babies. With unlimited and unregulated abortion now haunting our state, we recognize it is critical to support those who support women in unplanned pregnancies. One way we are doing this is by greater support for Pregnancy Resource Centers (PRC’s).
Hearings were held in the House and Senate Tax Committees designed to support PRC’s through a new tax credit program. Under the proposal, individual donors and businesses could receive a 70% tax credit for their donation to a Kansas pregnancy resource center or maternity home. Directors from a number of amazing PRC’s from across Kansas came to testify, along with a client of a PRC who brought her son—a little guy who stole the show!
To watch the hearings, please check out the following links:
Senate Assessment and Taxation, SB96– Senate Assessment and Taxation Committee 02/02/2023 – YouTube
House Taxation, HB 2135– House Taxation Committee 02/02/2023 – YouTube
What happens at the Kansas Statehouse impacts YOU.
"The Kansas Catholic Conference is your Catholic voice in Topeka. By being informed and engaged, you help us make Kansas a better place to live, work and raise our families."
– Chuck Weber, Director of the KCC
Chuck Weber, Executive Director
Our Faith Is About Each And Every One Of Us.
From our sacraments protected by religious freedom, to our Catholic Education fueled by the passion of Catholics statewide. What we do matters. What you do matters.