Bill Memos

A.3369, Morelle / S.4178, Klein: In relation to the sale of monuments

Memorandum of Opposition

The above-referenced bill applies to cemeteries organized and operated under the Religious Corporations Law and attempts to prohibit those cemeteries from selling monuments and memorials. The Catholic Conference continues to object to governmental encroachment on the operation of church-affiliated cemeteries.  These cemeteries perform burial services according to the rites and rituals of the Church and, as such, are and should remain outside the purview of governmental intrusion.

In addition, in these difficult fiscal times, it is necessary for financial stability to allow all cemeteries, not just religious cemeteries, to supplement and diversify their revenue sources to ensure perpetual care, maintenance and stability of the cemetery.

The New York State Catholic Conference strongly opposes this legislation. More


A.1826,Cusick / S.4099,Golden: In relation to establishing an Education Investment Tax Credit

Memorandum of Support

The above-referenced legislation would generate increased funding for education by enhancing tax benefits for charitable donations to public schools and scholarships programs. The New York State Catholic Conference strongly supports these measures and urges enactment. More


S.5253-A, Flanagan / A.8043, Nolan: State Office for Religious and Independent Schools

Memorandum of Support

The above-referenced bill creates a State Office for Religious and Independent Schools within the State Education Department. The New York State Coalition for Independent and Religious Schools supports this legislation. More


Re: S.2755, Griffo: Authorizing Mixed Martial Arts Contests in New York State

Memorandum of Opposition

The above-referenced bill would authorize and regulate the combative sport of mixed martial arts (MMA), which is currently prohibited in New York State. The New York State Catholic Conference strongly opposes this bill.

The Legislature has rightly taken action to try to reduce gun violence and other forms of violence in our state. Why, then, would we be looking to bring extreme violence as sport here? What kind of message does it send to our citizens, particularly children, when we glorify violence in this way? Should it surprise us when children act out violently after watching state-sanctioned mixed martial arts events? More


A.8070, Titus / Governor’s Program Bill #9: “The Women’s Equality Act”

Memorandum of Opposition

The above-referenced legislation was released by the Governor on June 4, 2013 and introduced in the Assembly yesterday. Within the package of ten policy objectives is an unnecessary and harmful expansion of abortion in New York State. Part J of A.8070 would accomplish the very same goals as the separately introduced “Reproductive Health Act” (S.438) but with fewer words and greater deception.  This renders the entire act unacceptable, and we strongly urge you to reject it.

Part J of A.8070 would embed the US Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade into New York statute, freezing New York law in 1973. This would repeal New York’s current law which allows abortion through 24 weeks of pregnancy (Article 125 Penal Law), but outlaws abortion after that unless necessary to save a woman’s life. The Governor’s bill would insert a broad health exception, interpreted by the courts not to mean serious physical health impairment, but rather, to include age, economic, social or other emotional factors. It is an exception that will permit unlimited late-term abortion on demand in New York State.

Recent changes to this legislation do nothing to alter the dangerous substance of the bill. A reference to the federal Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act is meaningless, since no state law can conflict with a federal law under the U.S. Constitution Supremacy Clause. The amendment to include a 24-week viability line is hollow as well, as the bill continues to add the “anything goes” health exception, legalizing abortions after 24 weeks of pregnancy for virtually any reason. More


A.4106, Aubry / S.1327, Montgomery: In relation to providing opportunity for those incarcerated in correctional facilities to receive GEDs

Memorandum of Support

The above-referenced legislation would require the Department of Correctional Services to establish academic programs to prepare inmates to complete the General Equivalency Diploma (GED) and provide inmates with an opportunity to complete a GED prior to release.

The New York State Catholic Conference supports this legislation. More


Re: A.2597, Moya / S.2378, Peralta: In Relation to NYS DREAM Act

Memorandum of Support

The above-referenced legislation would create the New York DREAM Fund Commission and would provide opportunities for immigrant students who meet certain criteria to be eligible for financial aid to assist them attend institutions of higher education.

The New York State Catholic Conference supports the New York State DREAM Act, and strongly urges enactment of this legislation.

The bill is an attempt to allow young people who have demonstrated a commitment to education and who are of good moral character to access financial aid opportunities without regard to immigration status, and would create a mechanism to raise money for college scholarships for the children of immigrants. Other states have passed similar legislation and New York State, with its history of welcoming immigrants, should be at the forefront of these efforts to support immigrant populations who have contributed so much to the vitality of our state. The chance to earn a higher education degree will allow these immigrant students to realize their potential and make a greater contribution to our economy. More


Re: S.1743-A, Espaillat / A.1792,-A Nolan: Farmworkers Fair Labor Practices Act

Memorandum of Support

The above-referenced legislation would address a number of the exemptions in New York’s labor, public health and workers compensation laws that currently prevent farmworkers from accessing rights and privileges available to other workers in New YorkState.

The New York State Catholic Conference supports the Farmworkers Fair Labor Practices Act, and strongly urges enactment of this legislation. More


A.619,Rosenthal / S.4922, Savino: In relation to requiring only one witness to execute a valid health care proxy

Memorandum of Opposition

The above-referenced bill amends the Public Health Law to require only one witness to execute a valid health care proxy in New York State.  The current law requires that two witnesses be present.

The New York State Catholic Conference opposes this legislation.

Similar legislation has already been considered and was vetoed in in 2010 by Governor Paterson.  In his veto message (veto no. 6788), the Governor stated that “the elimination of the second witness requirement would make it more likely that a person with nefarious motives could forge another’s name and be the sole witness to the forged document,” thus giving the unlawful agent the power to make decisions “on behalf of the patient, including decisions that could result in death.”  The present legislation raises the same concerns of fraud and abuse, particularly in regard to the most vulnerable populations. More


S.5823, RULES / A.7992, Quart: In relation to retail licenses to sell liquor on certain premises

Memorandum of Opposition

The above-referenced legislation, which has passed both houses of the Legislature, creates an exception for a single establishment that would permit the on-premises sale and consumption of alcohol within two hundred feet of a church.

The New York State Catholic Conference opposes this legislation and urges that it be vetoed by the Governor. More