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For the Nebraska Catholic Conference, LB108 and LB306 were both small, but important, steps toward ensuring some basic material needs of the poor are met. Both Catholic Social Services and Catholic Charities, the charitable arms of the Diocese of Lincoln and the Archdiocese of Omaha, respectively, had record-setting years in 2020 for poverty assistance.

Save the Date: Pro-Life Conference. The Nebraska Catholic Conference is happy to announce this year’s pro-life banquet and conference dates and theme. The theme is “A People of Life, and For Life: The Next 25 Years of Evangelium Vitae.” The year 2020 marked the 25th anniversary of St. Pope John Paul II’s famous encyclical, Evangelium Vitae (The Gospel of Life). In light of that, this year’s banquet and conference will reflect on that incredible document and how it can be lived into the next 25 years, especially in light of the new threats and challenges the culture of death poses.

LB597 is worthy of support. It is a way to help families financially during a time of trial, suffering, and healing, which is also a time of increased financial cost for them. Our state and federal governments recognize through tax incentives the financial costs families bear to raise their children. LB597 is a recognition of the costs borne by families who have lost a child as well.

LB298 simply recognizes that there are immigrants among us—who work alongside us in our small businesses, schools, and factories—and we are called to make sure their basic needs are met in the same way ours are being met. If we were to become unemployed, we could qualify for the state’s unemployment insurance benefits program and get the stability of temporary public assistance while we pursue new employment. This basic safety net should also be extended to legally work-authorized immigrants in our midst.

LB364, the Opportunity Scholarships Act, was debated by the Nebraska Legislature last Wednesday. Several State Senators tried to kill this bill, which would help provide private school scholarships to low-income families, with a filibuster. After an eight-hour debate, it fell four votes short of the 33 votes needed to break a filibuster. The vote was 29-18 (two were “present-not voting”).

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