April 11, 2023

Wishing You a Joyful Easter Season!

The Wisconsin Catholic Conference wishes you and your loved ones a very happy Easter season. On Easter Sunday, Pope Francis shared the following in his annual Urbi et Orbi Easter Message:

“May we allow ourselves to experience amazement at the joyful proclamation of Easter, at the light that illumines the darkness and the gloom in which, all too often, our world finds itself enveloped.

Let us make haste to surmount our conflicts and divisions, and to open our hearts to those in greatest need. Let us hasten to pursue paths of peace and fraternity. Let us rejoice at the concrete signs of hope that reach us from so many countries, beginning with those that offer assistance and welcome to all fleeing from war and poverty.

At the same time, along this journey we also encounter many stumbling blocks, which make it more difficult and demanding to hasten towards the Risen Lord. To him, then, let us make our prayer: Lord, help us to run to meet you! Help us to open our hearts!”

Happy Easter from the WCC!

State Budget Priorities

The WCC has released its biennial State Budget Issue Brief with items for legislators to prioritize. We encourage all citizens to contact their representatives to share these priorities, which promote the common good and protect the life and dignity of every human being. 

View Issue Brief

In addition, we encourage you to participate directly in the budget process through contact with members of the Joint Finance Committee (JFC), which is responsible for the first revision of the Governor’s 2023-25 state budget.

Attend a Hearing. There are still two opportunities to attend the JFC's Statewide Budget Listening Sessions across the state:

Wednesday, April 12, 10am - 5pm at Wilderness Resort, Glacier Canyon Conference Center 

Wednesday, April 26, 10am - 5pm at Lakeland Union High School 

Attendees will be asked to fill out a form upon arrival to be added to the queue to testify. Comments will probably be limited to 2 minutes per individual. 

Submit Comments Online or by Mail. Citizens may also email comments to the JFC at budget.comments@legis.wisconsin.gov, or submit them at legis.wisconsin.gov/topics/budgetcomments, or mail them to: Joe Malkasian, Room 305 East, State Capitol, Madison, WI 53702.

Once the four public hearings are completed, the JFC will spend the month of May drafting its own version of the state budget and then send it to both houses of the Legislature, where in June it will be further amended and then passed. Finally, the Legislature will send the amended budget back to the Governor for his action before June 30, the end of the current fiscal year.

WCC Supports Postpartum Medicaid Expansion

On March 29, the WCC testified in support of SB 110 (Ballweg, Joan) which extends eligibility under the Medical Assistance program for postpartum women for a full year after giving birth. Currently, a woman who qualifies for the Medical Assistance program due to pregnancy has her coverage lapse 60 days after giving birth. Read the full testimony here. The WCC has also registered in support of the companion bill AB 114 (Rozar, Donna), which has yet to receive a public hearing. The committees have taken no further action.

WCC Supports ABLE Savings Accounts for Individuals with Disabilities

On March 30, the WCC registered in support of SB 122 (Jacque, André) / AB 121 (Mursau, Jeffrey) which requires the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions to implement a 529A ABLE Savings Account Program for individuals with disabilities. This program allows an individual classified with having a disability before age 26 to have a tax-exempt savings account set up in their name to cover certain expenses. These expenses include education, housing, transportation, employment training and support, assistive technology and personal support services, health, prevention and wellness, financial management and administrative services, legal fees, expenses for oversight and monitoring, and funeral and burial expenses. SB 122 passed out of Committee and AB 121 will receive a public hearing on Wednesday, April 12.

WCC Public Policy Positions: Uphold the Innate Equality, Dignity, and Complementarity of Male and Female.

Here we elaborate on each of the WCC's 2023 Public Policy Positions. The complete document can be found below.

Uphold the innate equality, dignity, and complementarity of male and female. Men and women are biologically different from the moment of conception and possess equal dignity. Wisconsin must uphold these two scientific and moral realities and defend those who seek to live them out. At the same time, all who experience gender dysphoria must be treated with compassion, sensitivity, and respect. 

The Church teaches that God created us out of love as male and female, and gives man and woman an equal personal dignity. "Each of the two sexes is an image of the power and tenderness of God, with equal dignity though in a different way." (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2335). 

Each human person is a body-soul totality created for authentic love. “Sexuality affects all aspects of the human person in the unity of his body and soul. It especially concerns affectivity, the capacity to love and to procreate, and in a more general way the aptitude for forming bonds of communion with others” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2332). 

Our bodies and souls are gifts to be cherished and not manipulated. “Everyone, man and woman, should acknowledge and accept his sexual identity. Physical, moral, and spiritual difference and complementarities are oriented towards the goods of marriage and the flourishing of family life. The harmony of the couple and of society depends in part on the way in which the complementarities, needs, and mutual support between the sexes are lived out” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2333).

Whenever persons feel disconnected from their given bodies, the family, church, and community must respond with compassion, sensitivity, and respect – while always pointing to the fundamental truth, goodness, and unity of God’s creation and searching for ways to restore that unity.

Update from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

WCC 2023 Public Policy Positions

The WCC's 2023 Public Policy Positions are designed to inform state legislators, policy makers, and other interested parties about the Church's public policy positions and the principles that undergird them.

2023-24 Legislature and Citizen Resources

To find out who your legislators are, go to the Wisconsin State Legislature's home page and enter your address under Who Are My Legislators. Other legislative resources include:

You can also follow state government by tuning in to WisconsinEye, the independent, nonpartisan news service that provides uncut video coverage of state government proceedings.

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