News Releases

Gov. Cuomo and legislature: Don’t let us down

Date posted: March 24, 2015

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A Statement from Timothy Cardinal Dolan and the Bishops of New York State

One year ago, with the promise of Education Tax Credits on the horizon, thousands of tuition-paying families were left out in the cold – excluded from a state budget that provides the nation’s highest level of spending per pupil in public schools. Governor Cuomo knows how genuinely disappointed we were.

This year, the Governor has included Education Tax Credits in his proposed state budget. And so we have renewed hope. But in politics, it is not enough to propose; the measure still must survive the negotiation process with the Legislature in order to be enacted, and we are strongly urging the Governor to be unwavering in demanding the tax credit be included in the final budget. More


Catholic Conference congratulates Assembly for taking up human trafficking bill

Date posted: March 16, 2015

Stop-Human-TraffickingIn a news conference today, Speaker Carl Heastie announced that the New York State Assembly will vote today on legislation aimed at protecting victims of human trafficking and helping to eliminate that scourge from our state. Though the bill has passed in the Senate this year and in years past, the Assembly had previously bundled it with a 10-point “Women’s Equality Act,” which included a controversial provision to expand access to late-term abortion. Today’s action allows the trafficking measure to stand on its own.

Kathleen M. Gallagher, director of pro-life activities for the New York State Catholic Conference, made the following statement today:

“We congratulate Speaker Heastie for allowing this important vote. It will no doubt save countless girls and young women from the horror of human trafficking. Assembly Member Amy Paulin, who led the fight for this bill should also be commended. We hope and expect that the Assembly will also take up the other provisions of the Women’s Equality Agenda already passed by the state Senate, under the leadership of Senator Dean Skelos.

“Today’s vote is a victory of policy over politics. We look forward to the bill’s passage and its signing into law by Governor Cuomo.”

The Catholic Conference represents New York State’s Bishops in matters of public policy.


Statement on the death of Edward Cardinal Egan

Date posted: March 5, 2015

031108_0729Following is a statement by Richard E. Barnes, executive director of the New York State Catholic Conference, on the death of Edward Cardinal Egan, archbishop emeritus of New York and president emeritus of the Catholic Conference:

“We are so saddened to learn of the death of our beloved former Conference President, Edward Cardinal Egan, archbishop emeritus of New York. Cardinal Egan was a dear and true friend and he will be terribly missed by those who knew and loved him.

“The cardinal’s contributions to the work of the New York State Catholic Conference cannot be overstated. As the founder of the Catholic Action Network, he had the vision to use the potential of the Internet to fundamentally reshape our grassroots education and advocacy. It was a model copied not only by other state Catholic Conferences throughout the country, but by advocacy organizations of all kinds.

“He was a tireless defender of the poor and vulnerable, the unborn, the sick and the elderly. He had a particular devotion to Catholic education, calling it the Church’s most important charitable ministry, and he raised untold millions to ensure its viability.

“I personally will miss his friendship, his wise counsel, his sense of humor, and the example he showed as a man of holiness. His episcopal motto, ‘In the holiness of truth,’ summed him up perfectly. Cardinal Egan was a man of truth, who recognized the holiness of that virtue.

May he rest in the peace of the Lord whom he loved and served so faithfully here on earth.”


Catholic Charities leaders lobby on behalf of poor and vulnerable

Date posted: February 11, 2015

Catholic Charities leaders from across the state at the Capitol in Albany on Monday and Tuesday, Feb. 9-10, to advocate for their 2015-16 state budget priorities. The New York State Council of Catholic Charities Directors and other leadership from various Catholic Charities agencies, representing all eight dioceses of the state, met with key legislators and members of the Cuomo Administration on behalf of the state’s poorest and most vulnerable citizens.

Advocacy focused on the impact on services related to Gov. Cuomo’s Executive Budget as it relates to:

  • Behavioral Health
  • Criminal Justice
  • Persons with Developmental Disabilities
  • Affordable Housing
  • Human Services

Click the attached link to download the Council’s analysis of these issue areas, which were shared with elected officials and state agency personnel.

Catholic Charities Commentary and Analysis of 2015-16 Executive Budget Proposal


New video, website spotlight Catholic teaching on end-of-life decision making

Date posted: February 9, 2015

At some point every family must deal with issues involving end of life care for a loved one. As Catholics attempt to navigate the myriad medical, ethical, and religious questions that arise, all the while dealing with the grief of an impending death, it can become overwhelming.

In an effort to offer assistance, the New York State Catholic Conference has produced a high definition video and a brand new website (www.catholicendoflife.org) entitled Now and at the Hour of Our Death that tackles many of the common questions and concerns, offers clarity and compassion, and serves as an education resource for Catholics nationwide.  More


Catholic Charities Directors to honor two at annual convening Feb. 9

Date posted: February 1, 2015

Robert Siebel, the recently retired chief executive officer of Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens, and Deborah Damm O’Brien, executive director of Catholic Charities Housing and DePaul Housing Management of Albany, will be honored by the New York State Council of Catholic Charities Directors at their annual convening in Albany on Monday, February 9, at the Hilton Hotel, in downtown Albany. More


Statement from Timothy Cardinal Dolan on the Education Tax Credit

Date posted: January 21, 2015

 

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Following is a statement of Timothy Cardinal Dolan, archbishop of New York and president of the New York State Catholic Conference, regarding new developments related to the Education Tax Credit, which will encourage private giving to scholarship-making organizations for low- and middle-income families, as well as for programing in public schools: More


Catholics at the Capitol to be replaced with multi-pronged approach

Date posted:

In recognition of the changing nature of public policy advocacy and communication, and in an effort to use the Church’s resources in these areas most effectively, the Bishops of New York State have determined that, while the Bishops will come to Albany Monday, March 9, for meetings with Gov. Cuomo and elected officials (including a legislative reception that evening), the Catholics at the Capitol lobby day in Albany will not be held this year and is not likely to be held in subsequent years. Instead a multi-pronged approach to advocacy with the state legislature will be developed, some of which will be implemented in the 2015 session.

“This new approach is expected to include a more segmented, targeted approach to advocacy, so that we have the right people in Albany, advocating for the right issues at the right time,” said Richard E. Barnes, executive director of the New York State Catholic Conference. He noted for example, in February both the New York State Council of Catholic Charities Directors and the Catholic School Superintendents will hold advocacy events at the Capitol and regionally, bringing leadership from numerous Catholic Charities agencies and schools offices across the state to lobby on human services and education funding issues as the state budget is being negotiated. More


Catholic Charities to advocate for state budget priorities at Albany convening Feb. 9-10

Date posted: January 8, 2015

Catholic Charities leaders from across the state will convene at the Capitol in Albany on Monday and Tuesday, Feb. 9-10, to advocate for their 2015-16 state budget priorities. The New York State Council of Catholic Charities Directors, representing all eight dioceses of the state, will meet with key legislators and members of the Cuomo Administration on behalf of the state’s poorest and most vulnerable citizens.

The Council’s budget priorities include:

  • Targeted investment in human services:  Fully funding the scheduled 2 percent salary and fringe benefit increases for human services workers; use of bank settlement funds toward an investment in the human services infrastructure; and the development of a strategy  addressing high childhood poverty rates in our upstate cities.
  • Criminal justice:  Fully funding the recommendations from the New York Commission on Youth, Public Safety, and Justice around the issue of raising the age of individuals being charged as adults.
  • Affordable housing:  Fulfilling the commitment to fund affordable housing from the initial bank settlement proceeds, with a request that $439 million be appropriated in the 2015-16 state budget.
  • Services to the intellectually/developmentally disabled and behavioral health populations:  Fully funding these services rather than reducing them to repay the federal government $1.26 billion from a CMS audit; with the use of bank settlement funds if appeals are not successful with federal officials.
  • Unaccompanied minors:  Support for the following items previously raised by the Archdiocese of New York in public testimony:
    • $24 million to support comprehensive case management and transitional support;
    • support for deportation defense legal resources for children living outside New York City;
    • support for expanded legal orientation community-based programs for children and parents/custodians;
    • develop and support legal-medical partnerships and clinics; and
    • expand the OTDA/BRIA Refugee Social Services Program and Targeted Assistance Grant.

 

The Council of Catholic Charities Directors will also hold a reception on the evening of Feb. 9 at the Albany Hilton.


Statement regarding state’s failure to pass Education Investment Tax Credit

Date posted: June 20, 2014

Following is a statement from Richard E. Barnes, executive director of the New York State Catholic Conference:

“Along with Catholic school families across the state, we are deeply disappointed and angry at the failure to pass an Education Investment Tax Credit, which would have generated needed scholarships to help families afford parochial schools, yeshivas and other non-public schools, as well as benefitted public schools and all teachers.” More