Bill Memos

A.2293, Morelle: 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 would 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.

The New York State Catholic Conference opposes this legislation.

It is vital for financial stability to allow religious cemeteries to supplement and diversify their revenue sources to ensure perpetual care, maintenance and stability of the cemetery. More

A.8178, Hevesi: In Relation to Home Stability Support Programs

Memorandum of Support

It is unacceptable that the Empire State has more than 150,000 homeless children and another 80,000 families on the brink of homelessness. It is even more shocking that 19,000 more children become homeless each year.

The New York State Catholic Conference supports this legislation. More

S.6089, Marcellino / A.7833, Cusick: In Relation to the Calculation of Nonpublic School Aid

Memorandum of Support

The above-referenced legislation would clarify that the State Education Department may continue to utilize the nearly four decades old “instructional time” standard as the basis for providing reimbursement to nonpublic schools for their participation in the mandated services aid program.

The New York State Catholic Conference supports this measure and strongly urges enactment of this legislation. More

S.6722, Governor’s Program Bill / A.5885-A, Rosenthal / S.6575, Hoylman: In relation to civil and criminal changes to the statute of limitations in cases of child sexual abuse

Memorandum of Opposition

The Catholic Church has zero tolerance for sexual abuse and supports proposals in the New York State Legislature to extend the time allowed under the law to file criminal charges or civil lawsuits against those who abuse children.

Sexual abuse is a societal scourge. It knows no boundaries. Protecting children from sexual abuse and safeguarding the legal rights of victims requires a comprehensive approach. While the Catholic Conference strongly supports efforts to prospectively increase the criminal and civil statute of limitations for child sexual abuse, the above-referenced legislation is seriously flawed in that it contains a statute of limitations “window” to open up previously time-barred civil claims going back indefinitely against not only abusers themselves, but against their employers as well. Therefore, the Catholic Conference must strongly oppose this legislation.

This extraordinary provision would force institutions to defend alleged conduct decades ago about which they have no knowledge, and in which they had no role, potentially involving employees long retired, dead or infirm, based on information long lost, if it ever existed. To be clear, the sponsors’ intent is to allow claims from even the 1940s or 1950s to be resurrected. More

S.5751-A, Golden / A.8121, Gjonaj: In relation to establishing September 4 as “Mother Teresa Remembrance Day”

Memorandum of Support

The above-referenced legislation would establish September 4 as Mother Teresa Remembrance Day in New York State, commemorating the date of her canonization as a saint by Pope Francis on September 4, 2016.

The New York State Catholic Conference supports the legislation as a fitting tribute to one of the most remarkable figures of the 20th century. More

S.2412-B, DeFrancisco / A.5285-A, Perry: In relation to establishing the Commission on Prosecutorial Conduct

Memorandum of Support

The above-referenced legislation would establish the Commission on Prosecutorial Conduct. This Commission would be modeled after the State Commission on Judicial Conduct and would establish acceptable standards and reasonable accountability for prosecutors as they carry out their duties and responsibilities.

The New York State Catholic Conference supports the establishment of the State Commission on Prosecutorial Conduct, and strongly urges enactment of this legislation. More

S.17-A, Hoylman / A.6959-A, Paulin: In relation to gestational surrogacy agreements or “collaborative reproduction”

Memorandum of Opposition

The above-referenced bill would undo New York’s longstanding prohibition of compensated surrogate parenting contracts. It would thereby encourage the buying and selling of children and the outsourcing of motherhood. The New York State Catholic Conference opposes this bill.

Currently, New York Domestic Relations Law declares surrogacy contracts contrary to public policy, void, and unenforceable. Vendors who assist in arranging such contracts are liable for up to a civil penalty of $10,000 and forfeiture of the fee received in brokering the contract; a second violation constitutes a felony.

Importantly, this policy was signed into law in 1992 by then-Governor Mario M. Cuomo, at the unanimous recommendation of the NYS Task Force on Life and the Law, with bipartisan legislative support and endorsements from advocacy organizations as disparate as the National Organization of Women and the State Catholic Conference. More

S.1070, Rivera / A.2705, Gottfried: In relation to establishing a sex education grant program

Memorandum of Opposition

The above-referenced legislation would establish a new dedicated funding stream for comprehensive contraceptive sex education programs for all age levels in New York State.

The New York State Catholic Conference opposes this bill.

This legislation would create a new funding mechanism to direct taxpayer dollars toward select organizations such as Planned Parenthood to ensure “comprehensive” sex education programs, promoting all contraceptive methods at undefined “age appropriate” grade levels. These programs would be in schools and other settings. More

S.159, Rivera / A.3693, Glick: In relation to additional state aid for Planned Parenthood clinics

Memorandum of Opposition

This bill seeks to make Planned Parenthood clinics in New York State eligible to receive funding from the Hospital Bad Debt and Charity Care Pool, which was established in 1983 to underwrite a portion of hospital losses associated with uncompensated care to the indigent and uninsured. The New York State Catholic Conference opposes this legislation and urges that it be defeated.

The recently enacted 2017-2018 state budget contains more than $20 million in state funding for “family planning services,” the vast majority of which will be appropriated to Planned Parenthood clinics. Additional state taxpayer funds flow to these clinics for “adolescent pregnancy prevention programs,” “health and sexuality-related programs,” sexually transmitted disease testing, and more. In addition to these line items, Planned Parenthood clinics enjoy expanded Medicaid eligibility for their clients, and, if adopted, newly proposed Department of Financial Services regulations will mandate cost-free insurance coverage for contraceptives and abortions. We respectfully suggest that additional moneys to this provider are not warranted. More

S.4063, Lanza / A.4296, Colton: In relation to teacher tax deduction for school supplies

Memorandum of Support

The above-referenced bill provides a personal income tax deduction up to $500 a year for school supplies paid for out of-pocket by elementary and secondary school teachers, principals and other personnel in public and non-public schools.

The New York State Catholic Conference supports this legislation. More