Capitol & Culture Update – June 29, 2015

Legislative Update

It was a busy, and for many, an intense week at the Capitol. On Tuesday, the authors of the Physician Assisted Suicide bill – SB 128 – canceled the hearing that was set to heard in the Assembly Health Committee because they simply did not have the votes for the bill to pass. The hearing has been rescheduled for 7/7/2015 – we will have more on that later but it’s not too soon to contact your representatives.

SB277, the Mandatory Vaccinations bill passed out of the Assembly after a vigorous bipartisan debate and is on its way back to the Senate for approval of the amendments before heading to the Governor’s desk. More on that below. AB 775, which will force pregnancy care centers to provide free advertising for government paid abortions, passed the Senate Health Committee on Wednesday with little opposition. It was astonishing to see how easy it is for a few to take away the Constitutional rights of many.

Click here to view the SB 277 Assembly Floor debate and vote commencing at 37:00 mark

Click here to view the AB 775 Senate Health Committee hearing commencing at the 47:00 mark

Bill of the Week – AB 517 Parental Access to Student Sex Ed Instruction Content

Educational materials and content presented by some outside consultants giving sexual health or HIV/AIDS prevention instruction in public schools has proved be controversial, causing concern for many parents. Assemblyman Gallagher introduced a bill that would have required parental consent prior to students receiving sex education instruction. However, the Assembly Education Committee made it clear that the bill would fail to pass so, with the bill hanging on for its life, the Assemblyman was able to gain bipartisan support for an amended version of the bill that ensures parents be provided certain information in order to decide whether to allow their student to attend the instruction, or they can simply opt their student out.

AB 517 will require schools to allow “ample” time for a student’s parent or guardian to inspect materials to be presented in sexual health or HIV/AIDS prevention education courses. Additionally, if the instruction is to be given by an outside consultant, this bill would require school districts to inform parents of their right to make copies of the materials to be used and the right to receive the credentials of any outside consultant or guest speaker providing this instruction.

The bill has passed the Assembly and will soon be voted on by the full Senate.

Senator Pan Immunizes Himself from His Constituents!

After a vigorous debate on the Assembly Floor, SB 277 passed on a bipartisan 46 to 30 vote. The bill that will require all children entering daycare and all school age children to meet the required vaccine schedule unless they receive a medical exemption from their doctor. Click here to see how your legislator voted on this bill.
For months this bill has drawn unprecedented crowds of people from all walks of life to the hearings at the Capitol – parents roamed the Capitol halls with strollers full of children like caravans of Humvees reporting for a mission. Still, after phone calls and letters, many of those parents feel as though their voice was not heard.

Maybe they weren’t.

CRI’s own Administrative & Program Director who is in Senator Pan’s district, knows exactly how they feel. Danielle, who is personally interested in this bill and has been following it through social media, was blocked by Senator Pan from viewing from his Twitter account! Danielle simply followed Senator Pan to stay informed and to ask questions as a constituent. Yet Senator Pan blocked her! He could have thanked Danielle for participating in the democratic process, he could have stood firm in his position as an elected official and said that he truly felt he was doing the right thing, he could have stated that perhaps they need to agree that they disagree. But Senator Pan blocked her! He simply didn’t want to hear it!

1d2a018c-f9cb-4d64-9744-da9eadb2abf9

This bill is not about whether one should vaccinate or not – it is about whether the parents or the government should be making the decisions on what to inject into their children’s bodies!

Since you, too, may have been blocked from Twitter, Facebook, or maybe your phone call to his office went in to a never retrieved voicemail system, you have one more chance to have your voice heard. SB 277 will be heading to the Governor’s desk after the amendments to the bill are approved of by the Senate early next week so now is the time to contact him.

In the News

GAY MARRIAGE RULING HASN’T DISSUADED CONSERVATIVES

Exclusive: Franklin Graham Warns Gay Marriage Ruling Will Lead To Christian Persecution

Judge Nap Questions John Roberts: ‘He Sounds Like Two Different People’

Summer in Sacramento
Have you given to support our work at Capitol Resource Institute lately?

We are coming upon a tremendously busy and costly time of year for us and we need your help!

Please consider giving what you can today to support our general fund or our upcoming City on the Hill Youth Leadership Conference. We absolutely love this time with our youth (or shall we call them our next generation of policy makers?!) and we always have students that want to come but who simply cannot afford to without scholarships.

We have additional staffing needs and costs as well that are substantial so please, give as you can so that we can make it another fantastic year!

Make a tax-deductible donation today!

Connect with us!

Join our email list for updates today!

Find us on Facebook!

Follow us on Twitter!

Capitol & Culture Update June 22, 2015

Legislative Update – Hearings this Week

The legislature spent a great deal of time on budget bills last week and will resume proceedings on some very important bills this week. SB277, the Mandatory Vaccinations bill, will be voted on the Assembly Floor as early as Monday and the Physician Assisted Suicide bill – SB 128 -will be in the Assembly Health Committee on Tuesday for a vote. AB 775, the Abortion Advertising bill, will be voted on in the Senate Health Committee on Wednesday.

Bill of the Week – AB 775
Abortion Advertising

AB 775 proposes a disturbing, blatant assault against the thoughts, the movement and the speech of law abiding citizens. The legislature declares that it has a ‘compelling interest’ in forcing Pregnancy Resource Centers (PRC’s) to advertise for government provided abortions.

Should McDonalds be forced to advertise Whole Foods Stores products because the government has a “compelling interest” in ensuring the healthy eating habits of its citizens? No. McDonalds is in the business of selling hamburgers. Whole Foods Stores can pay for its own advertising.

That scenario is of two industry monoliths but this legislation proposes a gross overreach of government that will impede the free speech of the mere 160 PRC’s in California who support life and oppose abortion. Yet pro-abortion advocates, supporting thousands of abortion clinics in the state, are determined to shut the PRC’s down. The Pregnancy Resource Centers have violated no law and have not been responsible for any deaths of women or babies so this legislature is creating a law that will force them to either violate their conscience by promoting abortions or violate the law and be fined. This law would unconstitutionally impede free speech and force PRC’s to engage in a practice that is contrary to their purpose. PRC’s will be fined for each “violation” for failure to advertise abortions on their websites, in print, and in person to their clients.

This bill passed through the full Assembly on a party line vote and will be heard by the Senate Health Committee on Wednesday 6/24/2015. Many crisis pregnancy resource centers are under the false impression that they, as non-profit 501(c) 3 organizations, cannot engage in public policy or get involved in defending themselves against bad legislation. If privately owned and funded PRC’s are targeted and fined and forced out business because no one stands up for their First Amendment rights, who will be next? The government states that it has a “compelling interest” to insure a women’s right to choose. So compelling that it will force us to pay out of our pockets – our tithes that go to assisting these centers – to pay to advertise for abortions! You need only listen to the few minutes of testimony (commencing at the 14:00 mark) from when the bill was heard on the Assembly floor to believe that this legislature is willing to reach out its long arm and choke off our Freedom of Speech and Free Exercise of Religion to silence the dissenters.

A U.S. Supreme Court Victory for Churches!

On Thursday, the United States Supreme Court issued a long awaited, victorious opinion in Reed v. Town of Gilbert, the case where the town’s ordinances placed limitations on the time and space a church was able to post signs notifying the public of its services. Pastor Reed of the Good News Presbyterian Church was restricted to a 12 hour time span within which he could place a sign about an upcoming service or event and he was fined by the town when he did not remove his yard signs after Sunday service. However, the town had a separate set of rules for other groups, including political campaigns, who were able to leave their signs up for several months and did not have the same negligible size restrictions as the church. Alliance Defending Freedom fought for the pastor and his church throughout an eight year court battle but on Thursday, the high Court voted unanimously that the Town of Gilbert had discriminated against the church. In rejoicing the decision Pastor Reed stated, “I never thought my small church signs would be the topic of the Supreme Court!” This case is a big win for religious freedom and we are grateful to all those who took up the fight!

Summer in Sacramento
Have you given to support our work at Capitol Resource Institute lately?

We are coming upon a tremendously busy and costly time of year for us and we need your help!

Please consider giving what you can today to support our general fund or our upcoming City on the Hill Youth Leadership Conference. We absolutely love this time with our youth (or shall we call them our next generation of policy makers?!) and we always have students that want to come but who simply cannot afford to without scholarships.

We have additional staffing needs and costs as well that are substantial so please, give as you can so that we can make it another fantastic year!

Make a tax-deductible donation today!

News

Drug companies donated millions to California lawmakers before vaccine debate

Libertarianism and Suicide – Why making death a choice is a bad idea

‘Christian Millennials’ – Not an Oxymoron

Capitol & Culture Update – May 11, 2015

Legislative Update
Bill of the Week: AB 1177 – Fast Tracking Planned Parenthood Clinic Openings
Gay Marriage and Religious Liberties
News

Legislative Update
May 15th is the last day for bills to be heard in their policy committees. Bills that have a Fiscal impact were to pass out of their policy committees by May 1st. However, 270 bills did not make it out of their policy committees in time and have been marked as a “2-year bill.” Those bills, if revived by the authors, can be heard next year. All of our priority bills are moving swiftly through the legislature and unfortunately we are down to just bills that we oppose. We need your help to stand against those proposed bills becoming unconstitutional law. Action Alerts will be sent throughout the week as the bills are calendared to be voted on in both the Senate and the Assembly.

Bill of the Week – AB 1177: Fast Tracking Planned Parenthood Clinic Openings
Planned Parenthood is seeking preferential treatment in order to fast track the opening of as many abortion clinics as possible by sponsoring a bill that will eliminate the regulations that require primary care facilities that provide abortions to have a “transfer agreement” with a nearby hospital as a condition of their licensing. Transfer agreements are currently required to be in place to ensure the safety of patients and to provide a clear understanding of responsibilities of the clinics that would call on hospitals to back them up. For private hospitals or those owned by cities, this bill will override any decision by local hospital trustees who decide it is not in the best interest of the city to enter into such transfer agreements with certain providers.

Gay Marriage and Religious Liberties
For years we have been blowing the trumpet about the necessity to protect our Religious Liberties, that defending marriage as between one man and one woman as the cornerstone of our society was crucial to protect those liberties. We knew that progressives not only wanted to advance their goals but to ultimately diminish the rights of those who hold a differing view, particularly the church. An excellent article in the Federalist Papers lays out the battles that may lay head for Religious Nonprofits should the US Supreme Court not uphold traditional marriage.

News
ADF leads fight against Virginia over transgender bathrooms, privacy concerns
NARAL sees Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act as “major, nationwide threat”
House Will Vote on Bill to Ban Abortions After 20 Weeks Near Anniversary of Kermit Gosnell Conviction
Mother’s Day Index: Mom’s value is up

Capitol & Culture Update – May 2, 2015

Legislative Update

Last week was the deadline for bills to be heard in the committees of their house of origin. We expect a number of the bills we are watching to be brought up for floor votes over the next few weeks.

Bill of the Week – AB 517 – Parent Consent for Sex Ed Instruction

The foresight of Assemblyman James Gallagher to introduce legislation that would protect parental rights did not come a minute to soon. Parents are concerned after hearing various reports including that of Acalanes High School where the instructor threw a model of the female reproductive organ at a student. Students reported that they felt they were being pressured to become sexually active.

On top of that, the legislature is seeking to expand Sex Education in public schools with AB 329 which will include instruction on “healthy relationships” (which must include relationships of same-sex couples), instruction on how to have safe sexual relationships and that abortion is an option if the sex wasn’t so safe. In other words, Sex Ed will now be Sexual Relationship Ed – a topic typically left for parents to teach. And districts may hire “outside consultants” like Planned Parenthood, GLSEN and Equality California affiliates to give the instruction! One bill prohibits school districts from implementing an opt-in policy.

Gallagher’s bill that would have required parents to be notified if an outside consultant were teaching the instruction and require districts to impose an “opt-in” policy on sex-ed courses. AB 517, was slammed down by the Assembly Education Committee on 4/8/2015 but was granted reconsideration. Gallagher came back with amendments to the bill that will require districts to allow parents to opt-out, to receive copies of the instruction materials, and to be given information regarding the sexual education training of any outside consultant giving the instruction. That version of the bill passed on a unanimous vote of the Education Committee on Wednesday. Thank you Assemblyman Gallagher for fighting for the protection of parental rights!

CRI Fights Anti-Christian Bigotry in the Media

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins was invited to be on “Face the Nation” for an interview regarding the Supreme Court arguments on gay marriage. When one receives an invitation, they usually feel welcome. Not so on CBS any longer since host Bob Schieffer choose to assault Tony with a ‘who do you think you are to speak for the Christian community’ line of questioning to be backed up by “the Southern Poverty Law Center has branded FRC an anti-gay hate group” comment.

Remember, the Southern Poverty Law Center is the group that incites violence by spewing hate about anyone who does not promote the LGBT agenda. So much so that in 2012 a SPLC follower entered the Family Research Council building in Washington armed to kill the entire FRC staff, shooting and injuring a security guard before being subdued by that guard.

So for the host of CBS’s “Face the Nation,” a news program that has been respected for its no drama political interviews since 1954, to call Tony Perkins and the Family Research Council a hate group, well it was too much for the Conservative Action Project (CAP). CAP sent a letter signed by approximately 50 of its members – prominent conservative Christian men and women, including CRI’s Chairman, Tim LeFever – demanding an apology. The letter stated in part, “It is now clearer than ever before that the liberal media – including CBS…will stop at nothing to use their power and the power of the government to silence, shame, punish and fine Americans who embrace traditional marriage and other politically incorrect truths.”

We have been sharing for years how our voice as Christians is being silenced in the political arena and in the media. However, Tony Perkins is one of the few Christians who is sought out for national media interviews regarding the Christian perspective on issues, particularly on marriage. Tony is speaking for Christians because we don’t have a voice. Tony handled the interview attack with dignity, grace and integrity. CRI and the multitude of organizations who signed onto that letter to CBS are committed to maintaining a voice in the media. We are grateful to Tony Perkins and to the women and men of CAP for calling CBS out on this issue.

In the News
Video: Confused by ‘L.G.B.T.Q.Q.I.P.2S.A.A’? Gay Marriage Activists Explain
Supreme Court Debates Meaning of Marriage and Consequences of Judicial Redefinition
Supreme Court revives Catholic groups’ objections to health care law
How the ‘Right to Love’ Is Creating Hate

Capitol & Culture Update March 23, 2015

Action Alert

SB 128 – Physician Assisted Suicide

SB 128 would legalize physician assisted suicide and would create a new, standard treatment for medical care in California. The law would allow a physician to prescribe life ending medication to be self-administered by a patient who has been diagnosed with a terminal illness that has been determined will result in the death within six months.

The most vulnerable in our society – the sick, disabled, and poor – will potentially be exposed to abuse by a cost conscience health care system and weary care givers should this bill become law.

Read more on Physician Assisted Suicide

This bill will be heard in the Senate Health Committee at 1:30 pm on 3/25/2015 in room 4203.

We urge you to contact the Senate Health Committee members below and urge them to vote “NO” on SB 128.

Senate Health Committee Members

Hall, Isadore**
916 651 4035

Hernandez, Ed (Chair)**
916 651 4022

Mitchell, Holly
916 651 4030

Monning, William**
916 651 4017

Nguyen, Janet (Vice-Chair)
916 651 4034

Nielsen, Jim
916 651 4004

Pan, Richard
916 651 4006

Roth, Richard
916 651 4031

Wolk, Lois**
916 651 4003

**Please note – This member is either an author or co-author of this bill

 

Bill of the Week

SB 277 – Mandated Vaccinations

There has been a great deal of attention surrounding vaccine requirements since several children contracted measles at Disneyland several months ago.

In spite of a recent law (AB 2109) which requires parents to consult with a health care practitioner regarding the benefits and risks of immunizations prior to exercising the “personal belief exemption” allowed in the school vaccine law, the legislature feels compelled to further restrict parent rights. Although the number of exemptions deceased in the past year, the legislature is still making a move to restrict parental rights and personal choice.

SB 277 has been introduced to completely eliminate the personal belief exemption option from the school immunization law. This law will force parents to inject their children from any diseases deemed necessary by the Department of Public Health (DPH). The DPH takes its recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), all of whom recommend the HPV vaccine for children between the ages of 11 and 12 years old.

This issue is not limited to California and it has not been very successful. In Oregon, similar proposed legislation was dropped this week due to extreme opposition to removing personal choice. Let’s hope the author will see the light and pull this intrusive piece of legislation.

 

The Land of the Free Thinkers

Last week news of intolerance, bigotry and discrimination on the campus of UCLA became public. The student council at the University of California, Los Angeles, held a confirmation hearing in February for the nomination of student Rachel Beyda to the council’s Judicial Board. In light of the questions posed to Ms. Beyda by a member of the student council, reports of Anti-Semitism being alive and well on college campuses appears true.
“Given that you are a Jewish student and very active in the Jewish community, how do you see yourself being able to maintain an unbiased view?”

The board chair president objected to the line of questioning but still, several students voted against Rachel. After a recess and intervention by a student advisor the student council voted again, approving her nomination.

The students at UCLA eventually abided by the Constitution. But sadly, students on the campus of UC Irvine are not so patriotic and appreciative of the freedom America affords them. Last week the student council at UC Irvine voted to ban the American flag, a symbol of those hard fought freedoms. The flag ban was vetoed just a few days later by the college’s executive board.

 

In the News

Mandatory vaccine bills fail in Oregon, Washington

Federal Court Precedent: A Defense of Judge Roy Moore and the Alabama Supreme Court

Air Force base in Georgia bans ‘blessed day’ greeting

Capitol & Culture Update 3/9

Bill of the Week -SB 128 – Physician Prescribed Suicide

Legislation was introduced in the Senate that would allow physicians to prescribe medications to individuals for the purpose of ending their own lives. The law would allow individuals to “Self-administer” medication “to bring about his or her own death.”

Several groups came out in the past in strong opposition of assisted suicide legislation, including the California Medical Association, and were successful in blocking such laws. The last attempt at passing an assisted suicide bill was in 2007. But now, with the “Affordable Care Act” in place, this potential cost cutting policy may be a viable alternative some in the government and in the medical field may be willing to consider.

“Assisted suicide is a direct threat to those who are viewed as a significant cost liability,” says Catherine Campisi, PhD, former Director of the California Department of Rehabilitation, noting some of the reasons disability rights organizations oppose assisted suicide. “By adding assisted suicide to the suite of treatment options available, it becomes the cheapest option available and makes it easier for implicit and explicit pressure to be levied on the most vulnerable.”

This legislation would put the most vulnerable in our society at risk of abuse, potentially being coerced into prematurely ending their life.  And in the State of California, there is no end to the exceptions and allowances that will no doubt ease their way into such a law.

SB 128 is set to be heard in the Senate Health Committee on March 25th and we will be actively opposing this legislation.

SB 128

 

Legislative Update

The legislators met their February 27th deadline to introduce legislation and came in with a grand total of 2,428 bills. The most notable pieces of legislation are Senate Bill SB 128, discussed above, which would legalize physician assisted suicide and Senate Bill SB 277 which removes the parental personal belief exemption from the law that requires childhood vaccines. We will be actively opposing both of these pieces of legislation and will bring you more info on them in the coming weeks.

 

Gender Identity and Sex Change

School districts and local municipalities in various parts of the country are quietly proposing and attempting to implement policies allowing co-ed bathrooms without voter approval or parental input. Progressives spout out that if we haven’t accepted the inevitability of such policy as “normal,” there is something wrong with us and we will just have to get in the game.

If it’s all so normal, why does the media trip all over itself when someone comes out as gay or transgender. The media is all abuzz about the 1976 Olympic gold medal winner and reality TV star, 65 year old Bruce Jenner, who told his family that he plans to transition into a woman. People magazine quoted a ‘family insider’ as stating family members “are just trying to show Bruce love and acceptance – complete acceptance.

Love? Absolutely. But Dr. Paul R. McHugh, the former psychiatrist-in-chief for Johns Hopkins Hospital says, “‘Sex change’ is biologically impossible. People who undergo sex-reassignment surgery do not change from men to women or vice versa. Rather, they become feminized men or masculinized women,” wrote Dr. McHugh. “Claiming that this is a civil-rights matter and encouraging surgical intervention is in reality to collaborate with and promote a mental disorder.”

Dr. McHugh explains in a WSJ commentary  that the transgendered suffer a disorder leaving them believing “one’s feeling of ‘gender’ cannot be questioned by others. The individual often seeks not just society’s tolerance of this ‘personal truth’ but affirmation of it.”  The doctor stated that Johns Hopkins early on stopped performing sex change operations because it did nothing to stop the patient’s psychological anguish.

In spite of such findings, the California legislature passed legislation a few years ago that prevents parents from seeking care for a minor child who wants help with their gender confusion, prohibiting psychologists from counseling minors at all. The legislature continues to look for ways to pass laws to make those with gender identity disorder “feel accepted.” At an Assembly informational hearing on “transphobia” in sports, Assemblyman Ian Calderon asked the question, “As a state, you know, we have to figure out what our role is. Where can we step in and where can we not step in? Is it our job to be the parent, you know, for some of these kids that may not know better because maybe their parents aren’t training them right? And I really think and feel that the best answer is, you know so far but in large part, is in normalizing it … making sure that everybody doesn’t see it [transgenderism] as something that’s different and just sees it as a part of life.”

Capitol Update – January 29, 2015

Bill of the Week – AB 29: Age of Consent for Minors

A few bills have been introduced to close loopholes in the law concerning sexual consent by minors largely due to a lawsuit involving a sexual relationship between a 14 year old student and her 28 year old teacher.

In 2011, 28-year-old math teacher at Thomas Edison Middle School in Southeast L.A., Elkis Hermida, was criminally charged for having engaged in lewd sexual acts with a minor student. Hermida was found guilty and was given a three year sentence.

Last year the parents of the student filed a civil lawsuit against the Los Angeles Unified School District, claiming the district was negligent because it did not protect their daughter at any time during the six month long sexual relationship between the teacher and the student. Attorneys for the school district used the defense that the student had consented to the sexual relationship and was mature enough to consent to having sex with her teacher. The attorneys for the school district also used the minor’s prior sexual history, a practice that is not allowed in criminal sex abuse cases, including rape. Unfortunately, because of loopholes in the law, the school district was successful in defending itself using those arguments and the court did not hold them responsible.

In California, a minor under 18 years of age cannot legally give consent to engage in sexual activity. This bill resolves the inconsistency between civil and criminal law regarding a minor’s ability to give sexual consent. Assembly Bill 29 will close the loophole in civil law preventing a perpetrator from claiming a minor child consented to sexual acts and from using that as a defense in a civil lawsuit. A similar bill, SB 14, also adds that a minor’s prior sexual history cannot be admitted as evidence in a civil case.

Read AB 29

Under the Dome

The legislature is in full swing and has so far introduced almost 400 bills, a drop in the bucket considering the few thousand we are expecting. So far, the bill seeking to legalize Euthanasia (SB 128) and others addressing the age of consent for minors are on our radar. No committee hearings have been scheduled on those bills but they can be heard 30 days after they are introduced.

Newly proposed legislation will continue to trickle in as the February 27th deadline approaches but we anticipate the usual tsunami of bills to be introduced the last week or so before the deadline. Stay tuned for weekly updates!

How a Bill Becomes a Law

Who’s My Legislator?

California Judges Banned from Associating with Boy Scouts, Youth Organizations

The California Supreme Court ruled on Friday that state judges are prohibited from participating in the Boy Scouts, or any youth organization that does not allow Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Transgender individuals as members or into leadership.

An advisory committee to the Supreme Court began a review last year of an exemption to “non-discrimination” rules that allowed judges to participate in youth organizations that prohibited LGBT’s. The committee recommended doing away with the exemption to promote public confidence in the judiciary.

Although Scout leader and Superior Court Judge Julia Kelety does not support the exemption, she questions whether there was even a problem. “I’m not convinced that the public is worried that judges will treat them unfairly because they are involved in the Boy Scouts,” said according to the Los Angeles Times “I do wonder if other than a political angle, anyone has complained about a judge on a case because of an involvement in Boy Scouts.”

Several judges who serve and/or have children in the Scouts, wrote to the committee pointing out that their freedoms of association and religion will be violated should they be prohibited from continuing their participation. According to the L.A. Times article, John Vineyard described himself as a Superior Court judge, a Scoutmaster, an Eagle Scout and a Scout parent. “Those roles are not, and have never been, incompatible,” Vineyard wrote to the advisory committee. “The involvement of judges in Scouting reflects well on the judiciary and supports a widely respected youth organization with a rich and unique place in American culture.”

Only a few months ago, several county magistrates resigned in North Carolina rather than honor a court order requiring them to perform wedding ceremonies for same-sex couples. Those judges took a stand to choose their deeply held beliefs. The judges affected by Friday’s California Supreme Court ruling could choose to examine their ethical responsibilities to defend their own Constitutional Rights.

In the News

Resist or Accommodate Evil: There is No “Third Way”

Lawmakers hear heated testimony about sex-orientation bill

Young and old at risk from ‘naive’ assisted suicide plans

Colorado lawmakers introducing right-to-die legislation

Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore says he will continue to recognize ban on same-sex marriage

 

Like us on Facebook here!

Capitol Update – January 26, 2015

Bill of the Week – SB 128 – Euthanasia in California

Legislation was introduced in the Senate last week that would allow physicians to prescribe medications to individuals for the purpose of ending their own lives. SB 128 would allow individuals to “Self-administer” medication “to bring about his or her own death.”

In the past several groups came out in strong opposition of assisted suicide legislation, including the California Medical Association, and were successful in blocking such laws. The last attempt at passing an assisted suicide bill in California was in 2007.

“Assisted suicide is a direct threat to those who are viewed as a significant cost liability,” says Catherine Campisi, PhD, former Director of the California Department of Rehabilitation, noting some of the reasons disability rights organizations oppose assisted suicide. “By adding assisted suicide to the suite of treatment options available, it becomes the cheapest option available and makes it easier for implicit and explicit pressure to be levied on the most vulnerable.”

Doctors should not be in the business of coercing vulnerable individuals into prematurely ending their life. They can kill the pain without killing the patient.

Read SB 128

The Mystery of Life

As anticipated legislation that would allow for physician assisted suicide has been introduced in California. As this bill moves forward we must take pause to fully grasp where that slippery slope could lead.

The topics of the value of life and death are very personal and emotional. The story of Martin Pistorius has been in the headlines as he released the memoirs of his life after having lived in a vegetative state for 12 years. Martin became ill as a young boy and slipped into a coma, unable to move or speak. His parents were told to take him home and make him comfortable until he died. After two years he began “waking up” and, although fully aware of his surroundings, Martin was unable to communicate to those around him. He could hear, see, think, and feel emotion but was virtually alone, trapped in his body.

This young man is married and living a full life now. As a society, we must encourage and promote life in all stages.

City on the Hill Youth Leadership Conference

Mark your calendars for Capitol Resource Institute’s 28th Annual City on the Hill Youth Leadership Conference!

City on the Hill 2015 will take place July 21st – July 26th at William Jessup University in Rocklin, CA.

During the week-long conference Christian students aged 14-18 from all across California become mock legislators. They carry real legislation being debated in the legislature. While busy passing their bills through committee hearings, and debating legislation in floor sessions, they must also contend with the political aspect of governing as they run for party leadership. Students learn how important it is that we elect leaders with integrity.

Nowhere else can young Christians obtain such hands-on training for becoming leaders. The apex of the conference is the final day, when students debate their bills on the floor of the California legislature.

In addition to the legislative training, students receive world view training, and listen to edifying speakers from many different walks of life. Students are also encouraged in their walk with the Lord as they attend daily worship services and Bible studies.

This is a great opportunity to equip the next generation of leaders!

In the News

Federal judge issues two-week stay of own ruling overturning Alabama gay marriage ban

Is Brittany Maynard’s Husband Fighting the Wrong Battle?

Short sighted? School halts Bible study for blind kids

US Supreme Court to rule on same-sex marriage

U.S. Army Removes ‘God and Country’ Recruiting Sign Following Complaint

School Board Scraps Controversial Rule on Religious Homeschooling

 

Like us on Facebook here!

Capitol Update – January 12, 2015

Legislative Update

The California Legislature is back in session and Jerry Brown has commenced an unprecedented 4th term as governor. The New Year promises to be interesting with almost one-third of the legislators being newly elected representatives.

Many of the 930 laws that Governor Brown signed into law last year became effective January 1st, however, some will not take effect until July. Here is a brief recap:

The DMV is required to issue California Drivers Licenses to undocumented immigrants under a new law that went into effect Jan. 1. Over 46 thousand illegal immigrants applied for California drivers licenses in the first three days the new law went into effect.

California workers will now accrue 1 hour of sick pay for every 30 hours of work and will be entitled to a minimum of three paid sick days per year.

A ban on plastic grocery bags that is to go into effect in July could be put on hold if a referendum on the law qualifies for the November 2016 ballot. Opponents have reportedly turned in 800,000 signatures on their petition to overturn the law that some consider a tax on the poor. One legislator, questioning the necessity of the law, commented that anyone who thinks the grocery bags are only used for a single purpose “doesn’t know my mother.”

The “Robin Hood” legislature is taking plastic from the poor and has created another entitlement program (using plastics, no less!) by giving condoms to prisoners. A new law requires the California Department of Corrections to develop a five-year plan to distribute condoms in all state prisons (to prisoners who aren’t supposed to engage in sexual relations!).

On the Education front, administrators will be required to come up with alternative discipline solutions other than suspending students for “willful misconduct,” school districts will be able to streamline the dismissal process for teachers who are charged with “egregious misconduct,” and members of the Communist Party will no longer be banned from teaching in public schools.

A new law intended to reduce concussions in youth football will limit full-contact football practices to twice a week for high schools and middle schools.

No need for doggie bags – your pooch may now be allowed in some restaurants with outdoor seating areas that comply with health codes.

In response to the shootings at the University of Santa Barbara last year, a new law allows Gun Violence Restraining Orders to be issued for the temporary removal of firearms from individuals who are deemed at risk for committing acts of violence.

That is only a small sampling of new laws and we will see many more bills introduced this year. CRI is geared up to review and analyze the thousands of bills that will be introduced over the next two months and we will keep you informed of all those that will impact your faith, family, and freedom. This year promises to be full of opportunities for citizens to make their voices heard on issues that are important to them so please forward this email to friends and encourage them to sign up for our email updates and Action Alerts.

Read the new 2014 laws

In the News

Atlanta Fire Chief: I was fired because of my Christian faith

Doctors Killed His Mom Because She Was Depressed. Now He Speaks Out Against Euthanasia.

A Teacher’s Guide to Discussing Religion in the Classroom

Planned Parenthood Report: 327,653 Babies Aborted By Organization in 2013

City on the Hill – July 21st-26th

Start spreading the word! This is an excellent program for high school students. If you would like more information about City on the Hill, please email daniellec@capitolresource.org.

Did you know?

CRI receives no government funding?
CRI relies solely on contributions?
All donations to CRI are tax-deductible?
Will you help us to continue to stand for families in 2015?

Donate Online Today!

Donate by Mail:
CRI
660 J Street, Suite 250
Sacramento, CA 95814

To donate by phone call 916-498-1940.

All donations to CRI are tax-deductible.

 

Like us on Facebook here!

California Capitol Update – April 3, 2014

In This Issue
Legislative Update
Bill of the Week
Supreme Court Hears Oral Arguments in Contraceptive Mandate Cases
Did You Know?
News Clips and Articles
City on the Hill

Legislative Update
Last week several bills were considered in the Assembly to address truancy in public schools including AB 1643, AB 1672, and AB 2141.

These bills actually propose procedures for information gathering of California public school students reportedly to determine the issues behind the truancies and to determine when and how to intervene before a student’s truancies become chronic.  These bills are collecting personal data on these students. Some members of the Assembly Education Committee expressed opposition to adding more requirements and policies on the already overburdened school administrations.  Concern was also expressed about the privacy of the personal information that is collected.  The data obtained at the local level will be required to be reported to various departments within the public school education complex and, in anonymized format, to the Attorney General’s office..

Bill of the Week – SB 1164 
Communist Teachers
It’s back. Another attempt is being made to remove the protections in law that requires the immediate dismissal of a public school employee who is a known member of the Communist Party.While it seems every year in recent history some legislation has been introduced that seeks to delete “Knowing membership by the employee in the Communist Party” as grounds for termination of a school employee, it is usually buried in a bill that also seeks to ‘protect’ children from pedophiles and the sort.  The Associated Press, reporting on last year’s Assembly Bill AB 375 which included such language, stated almost as an afterthought, “[AB 375] also removed old language about ‘knowing membership of the Communist Party’ as a reason for suspending or dismissing a teacher.” The bill passed through both houses but was vetoed by the governor for reasons unrelated to the Communist agenda.

The proposal is simple and clear-cut. They just want that “old language” deleted from the law that states Communists can’t teach our kids.

Lawmakers give communists ‘unfettered’ access to schools

Supreme Court Hears Oral Arguments in Contraceptive Mandate Cases
The US Supreme Court heard arguments on March 25th in the Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties cases where the owners object on religious grounds to providing health insurance coverage for drugs and devices that end human life after conception.

The Affordable Care Act requires health plans to cover certain services at no charge, including all federally approved forms of birth control for women. Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties are seeking to be relieved of the mandate based on their religious objections to the emergency contraceptives Plan B, Ella, and two IUDs. The companies do not have an objection to covering methods of contraception that do not include abortifacients.

The justices will analyze the companies’ challenges under theReligious Freedom Restoration Act to answer the question of whether the requirement that employers provide contraceptive coverage imposes a “substantial burden” on their exercise of religion.

A ruling in these cases acknowledging that businesses can act on their deeply held religious is the only respond that will preserve our First Amendment rights under the Constitution.  The Court’s decision is expected by their summer break.

“No provision in our constitution ought to be dearer to man than that which protects the rights of conscience against the enterprises of civil authority.”

Thomas Jefferson

February 4, 1809

Letter to the Methodist Episcopal Church of New London, Connecticut

Did You Know?
  • CRI receives no government funding?
  • CRI relies solely on contributions?
  • All donations to CRI are tax-deductible?

 

If everyone who receives CRI’s e-mails donated just $25 on-line or through the mail, we would meet our 2014 budget by May 1st.

But of course, not everyone on our list will read this before year-end, and some will be unable to give. However, many of you have the capacity to give much more then $25. If everyone who appreciates this ministry and gives as God leads, CRI will be fully funded and ready for 2014!

Can you donate $25 today?

It’s easy to contribute to Capitol Resource Institute.

Donate Online Today!

Donate by Mail:

CRI

660 J Street, Suite 250

Sacramento, CA 95814

All donations to CRI are tax- deductible!

  

City on the Hill 

We are excited to announce that we have set the date for our annual City on the Hill Youth Leadership Conference.

The conference will be held July 15-20 on the beautiful campus of William Jessup University in Rocklin, California.

Our students tell us that it is nothing like what they expected and it is the best camp they’ve ever attended so mark your calendars for the summer camp of the year!