Weekly Update from the Missouri Catholic Conference                                       April 8, 2022  
Inside this issue
  House Passes Omnibus Pro-Life Bill  

The Missouri House this week gave final approval to a sweeping pro-life bill. HB 2012, sponsored by Rep. Hannah Kelly (R-Mountain Grove) began as a bill to prohibit the donation of fetal remains after an abortion and the hoarding of fetal remains. During the debate, three other pro-life bills were added to HB 2012.

HB 2012 would also prohibit any abortion facility or its affiliates from receiving public funds. While federal and state laws currently prohibit public funds from being used for abortion, the bill would expand that prohibition by denying an abortion provider Medicaid reimbursement for non-abortion health care services. It also includes language indicating Missouri will not comply with any federal law that would force Missourians to "directly or indirectly fund or participate in abortion." 

The bill also includes the "Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act", which would require physicians to provide the same level of care to children born alive after an abortion as they would any other child. Finally, HB 2012 creates the offense of "trafficking abortion-inducing drugs" when a person or entity supplies or administers abortion-inducing drugs to another person for an illegal abortion.  

While the first vote in the House was preceded by an emotional debate, the final vote proceeded quickly with no discussion. The bill now moves to the Senate for debate.



  Missouri House Passes Budget  

The Missouri House third read and passed the FY '23 budget this week, leaving several of the governor's recommended spending provisions unfunded. The House version of the budget did not include increases to the minimum pay for teachers recommended by the governor. It also did not include the $500 million the governor recommended to go to the state employee retirement system. The budget did include almost $3 billion in funding for Medicaid expansion, which the MCC supported and the legislature refused to fund last year. The House version of the budget also included a $2 million increase in funding for the Alternatives to Abortion program, which provides material and other support to women facing an unplanned pregnancy. The House budget also includes $100 million in funding to expand access to broadband, and $410 million in funding to address lead pipes carrying water into schools and buildings housing pre-schools.  There are significant additional federal funds available to spend which the Missouri Senate is expected to address when it considers the budget in the coming weeks.



  House Passes Safe Re-entry through Work Bill  

By a vote of 139-1, the House third read and passed the Safe Re-entry through Work bill.  HB 2088, sponsored by Rep. Derek Grier (R-Chesterfield), would allow offenders on probation or parole to earn a credit that is equal to a one-day reduction in their sentence for every one day spent working a qualifying job. This bill will free up the workload of probation and parole officers to focus on more serious offenders. The MCC supports the bill because It will help reduce recidivism and will also help with the worker shortage the country is now experiencing.

The bill now moves over to the Senate for further consideration.



  Midwest March for Life 2 Weeks Away  

Missourians will have the opportunity to come together to witness for the unborn, women, and families at the 2022 Midwest March for Life. The event will be held on Wednesday, April 20th on the south lawn of the Missouri State Capitol. The great lineup of speakers includes Bishop Shawn McKnight, pro-life activist Abby Johnson, and Catherine Glenn Foster, President, and CEO of Americans United for Life. Click here to visit the Midwest March for Life website to learn more about the wonderful day of activities planned.



  MCC Positions and Progress Report  

There are just 5 weeks left until legislators conclude the 2nd regular session of the 101st General Assembly. Which MCC priority bills are moving and which are not? Click here to read the latest MCC Positions and Progress Report. To listen to the latest MCC from the Capitol podcast, click here for MCC Legislative Roundtable March 2022.



  Why Holy Week Dates Change Every Year  

Every year, the dates of Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Easter Sunday vary.

The Catholic Church determines the date based on the fact that Christ's death occurred near the Jewish Passover, which is stated in the Gospel accounts of the Last Supper, when Jesus gathered with the Apostles to celebrate the feast commemorating the Exodus of the Jewish people from slavery in Egypt.

Click here to read more about the date of Easter from the Catholic News Agency.

The Missouri Catholic Conference office will be closed from noon Thursday through Monday, so there will be no MCC Weekly Update next week. We wish you all a blessed Holy Week and Easter!