FLCAN E-Update
Inside this issue
  Senate Committee Passes Unnecessary, Costly State-Level Immigration Bill  
Senator Gruters presents his bill at committee hearing.

At present, every jurisdiction in Florida complies with federal immigration laws. There are no so-called "sanctuaries" where these laws are not followed.

The Senate Infrastructure and Security Committee advanced (5-3) a proposal that would mandate local jurisdictions comply with all requests made by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to hold individuals 48 hours beyond the time they would otherwise be released. Complying with detainer requests is and should remain at the discretion of the county.
FCCB outlined its opposition to the proposal in a letter to Senator Joe Gruters, the bill sponsor. The current bill would shift cost burdens to counties. It violates subsidiarity and draws on rhetoric that obscures the current state of immigration law. It would likely undermine public safety and law enforcement efforts.

We share the concern that our immigration system is in need of reform. However, rather than SB 168, thoughtful, bipartisan reform at the federal level is needed to address our immigration challenges.


  House Education Committee Advances School-Choice Expansion  

Catholic school families joined James Herzog, FCCB associate for education (far-right), to advocate for increased school-choice options.

The House Education Committee advanced a proposal that includes a new school-choice program. The bill will provide increased scholarship opportunities to lower-income families who would otherwise be eligible to participate in the Florida Tax Credit (FTC) program by alleviating a nearly 13,000-student waiting list for the longstanding program. The House bill goes further than a similar Senate proposal by also broadening eligibility for participation.

Several parents whose children have benefited from school choice programs testified in support of the measure. The bishops of Florida have long supported parental empowerment in education and increased educational opportunities for low-income families.


  FCCB Supports Juvenile Justice Measure Limiting the Transfer of Children to Adult System  
Ingrid Delgado, FCCB associate for social concerns and respect life, speaks at press conference.

Ingrid Delgado, FCCB associate for respect life and social concerns, joined juvenile justice advocates, parents and lawmakers at a press conference to encourage juvenile justice reform.

Of grave concern to the FCCB is the transfer of children to the adult criminal justice system. Children must be at least 14 years old to be transferred by the processes of direct file and judicial waiver. But a child of any age could be tried as an adult in Florida through the indictment process.

"We recognize this practice is rare as 98% of transferred children are direct filed, but our laws should not allow the possibility of such young children to be sent to the adult system," said Delgado.

The FCCB thanks Senator Powell and Representative Alexander for filing legislation the would establish a minimum age of 14 to indict children as adults.


  Podcast: Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Florida Catholic Conference  

"One of the things we like to do is provide opportunities for Catholics to live out their call to faithful citizenship, to be responsible Catholic Christians in the public square." - Michael Sheedy, Executive Director

Listen to the podcast via the Diocese of Orlando's FREE Faith Fit App available on the App Store and Google Play or via SoundCloud.


  Recent News from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB)  


March 15, 2019

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E-Update: Week 2

The 2019 Regular Session of the Florida Legislature began March 5 and is schedule to conclude May 3.

Each Friday during the 60-day session, the Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops (FCCB) provides a summary of activity on priority bills and other items of interest at the Capitol.

For the current status of FCCB priority bills, see our legislative bill report.

E-Update: Week 1

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