The Louisiana Conference of Catholic Bishops (LCCB) evaluates legislation in light of Gospel values. “The Church’s obligation to participate in shaping the moral character of society is a requirement of our faith….Because we are people of both faith and reason, it is appropriate and necessary for us to bring this essential truth about human life and dignity to the public square.”
– Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship, USCCB
LCCB represents the Catholic Church in Louisiana to elected officials at both the state and federal levels, and advocates on behalf of the church on legislative issues. At the state level, all legislative bills are reviewed for their impact on the Catholic Church and its entities and programs.
THE PROCESS WHEREBY LCCB EVENTUALLY ADOPTS A POSITION ON AN ISSUE IS AS FOLLOWS:
- Staff reviews legislation prior to the state legislative session and determines which bills may require tracking.
- These bills undergo further review by LCCB committees and diocesan specialists who recommend to staff and the bishops what bills should be tracked and what stances should be taken.
- Legislation is advocated by staff at the direction of the bishops.
Specifically with regard to federal issues, LCCB works in collaboration with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). Only after the USCCB has taken a position on an issue will the LCCB make its position known to the Louisiana congressional delegation.
PRIORITY AREAS DURING THE 2022 LEGISLATIVE SESSION
• Protect our vulnerable children: Stabilize the care of precious children in our Intermediate Care Facilities.
• Maintain Pro-Life from Conception to Natural Death: Mitigate abortion, improve adoptions, sustain foster care, end the use of the death penalty, address human trafficking and maintain training requirements for gun permits.
• Promote Parental Choice and Religious Freedom: Increase Scholarships; Required Services and School Lunch Salary Supplement.
• Continue Restorative Justice Program: Promote legislation in keeping with restorative justice for victims, offenders and the wider community.
• Address Poverty: Address literacy, health care, mental health employment. Empowering Families to Live Well Act addressing all social determinants
• Caring for God’s Creation: Improve air and water quality; coastal restoration.
DO’S AND DON’TS WHEN TALKING WITH LEGISLATORS OR THEIR AIDES
- Do be courteous
- Do be to the point
- Do affirm them as intelligent people
- Do be focused on developing a long term relationship on many issues
- Do support the Church, and the fact that the Church’s teachings support the common good
- Don’t take their vote for granted if you know them personally
- Don’t lose your patience and argue if they don’t agree with our position
- Don’t forget to thank them for taking the time to talk with you