Bill Memos

Recreational Marijuana

Memorandum of Opposition


Re: A.1617-C Peoples-Stokes / S.1527-C Krueger
In relation to Recreational Marijuana

The above-referenced legislation would legalize the sale and use of recreational marijuana in New York State. The New York State Catholic Conference strongly opposes this legislation.

In opposing this legislation, we cite our 2019 statement, in which we urged the legislature to reject such a plan, citing consequences from increased teenage and childhood use, impact on developing brains, natural progression to harder drug use, and increased impairment-related transportation accidents and deaths.


Emergency Contraception Promotion on Campus

Memorandum of Opposition

S.5089 (Parker) / A.4831 Englebright
Re: Emergency Contraception

The above-referenced bill would require every public college and university in New York State to provide information to promote the use of “emergency contraception” (EC) drugs by students.

The New York State Catholic Conference opposes this legislation.

Since the federal Food & Drug Administration has approved distribution of EC over-the-counter in drugstores, and the Medicaid program and health insurers in New York State are required to cover the costs, there is now virtually unlimited access to these drugs.


Composting of Human Bodies

Memorandum of Opposition

Re: A.9839 (Paulin)
In relation to the composting of human bodies

The above-referenced bill seeks to add composting, or “natural organic reduction” (bill language) to the approved methods in New York State for the disposition of human remains.

The New York State Catholic Conference opposes this bill.


Home Stability Support Programs

Memorandum of Support

Re:  A.1620-A Hevesi / S.2375 Krueger
In relation to Home Stability Support Programs

It is unacceptable that the Empire State has more than 150,000 homeless children and another 80,000 families on the brink of homelessness. Statewide, some 23,000 more people become homeless than escape homelessness every year.

The existing shelter allowance is woefully inadequate compared to the actual cost of housing where two-thirds of public assistance households are living in housing whose rents significantly exceed their shelter allowances. More than 82,000 households have rents that are 1.5 times or more than their shelter allowance. Nearly 21,000 households have rents that are 2.5 times their shelter allowances. As a result, many families are being forced into homelessness at no fault of their own.


Pro-Life Pregnancy Centers

Memorandum of Opposition

Re: S.2264 Hoylman / A.2352 Glick
In relation to pregnancy centers 

This bill would impose unconstitutional requirements on pregnancy centers in violation of the First Amendment. Specifically, it would require that a mandatory, government-designed statement be made by pro-life pregnancy centers to disclose to clients the services they do not provide. It therefore mandates an impermissible form of coerced speech. We urge you to oppose this bill. 


Medicaid Coverage Beyond Pregnancy

Memorandum of Support

Re: A9156 (Gottfried) / S7147-A (Rivera)
In relation to Medicaid coverage beyond pregnancy

The above-referenced bill would extend Medicaid coverage for women for a full year after they have given birth, pending federal financial participation.

The New York State Catholic Conference supports this legislation.

Despite improvements in recent years, the maternal mortality rate in New York State remains unacceptably high. All women should have access to quality health care before, during, and after childbirth. This legislation would change the current 60-day period of Medicaid coverage following childbirth to one year.

Such coverage is necessary to ensure that a mother’s overall health – both her physical and behavioral health – is cared for, better ensuring that she can care for her infant and family. Postpartum care provided by professionals is absolutely critical for new mothers who may be affected by mood swings and depression, and those who may need assistance with breastfeeding and other aspects of care.

We believe this legislation will improve health outcomes for both mothers and infants and urge you to support it.

HPV Vaccination for School Attendance

Memorandum of Opposition

S.298-B (Hoylman) / A.2912-A (Paulin)
In relation to requiring the HPV vaccination for school attendance

The above-referenced legislation would require children entering seventh grade to be immunized against the human papillomavirus (HPV) in order for them to attend public or private school. Because this proposal would seriously undermine parental authority, the New York State Catholic Conference opposes it and urges that it be defeated.

Vaccinating against the human papillomavirus, known as HPV, is unlike vaccinating against measles or mumps because HPV will not be spread by ordinary contact in a school setting. The HPV virus can only be transmitted through sexual activity.


Diaper allowance

Memorandum of Support

 Re: A.2567-B Solages / S.1086-B Persaud
In relation to allowances for the costs of diapers 

The above-reference bill would amend the Social Services Law to provide eligible parents with an allowance for the purchase of diapers for their infants and toddlers. The New York State Catholic Conference supports this legislation and urges its approval before the close of the 2019 legislative session. 


Gestational Surrogacy

Re: A.1071-C Paulin / S.2071-B Hoylman
In relation to Gestational Surrogacy Agreements

Memorandum of Opposition

The above-referenced bill would undo New York’s longstanding prohibition of compensated surrogate parenting contracts, legalizing such arrangements at precisely the time when other nations are reversing course and outlawing the procedure due to the horrific consequences of such policies.

The international commercial surrogacy trade has been exposed, and several countries such as India, Nepal, Thailand and Cambodia, where brokers found access to impoverished women willing to serve as surrogates, have banned the practice. The European Parliament has asked its member states “to acknowledge the serious problem of surrogacy, which constitutes an exploitation of the female body and her reproductive organs,” and the practice has now been almost entirely banned in the European Union nations, where it has been declared to be a human rights issue involving the exploitation of women as well as being vulnerable to human trafficking.

For this and other reasons, the New York State Catholic Conference opposes this legislation.


Physician-Assisted Suicide

Memorandum of Opposition

Re: A.2694 Paulin / S.3947 Savino
In relation to legalizing physician-assisted suicide

The above-referenced bill would add a new section of the Public Health Law to allow physicians to prescribe lethal doses of medication for the express purpose of ending a patient’s life.

The New York State Catholic Conference opposes this bill for many reasons.