Peace & Justice

This is the blog of the Commission on Peace and Justice for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany, New York.

Thursday, July 01, 2021

Catholic Conference end-of-session round-up

The New York State Catholic Conference, which represents the Bishops of the state in working with government to shape laws and policies that pursue social justice, respect for life and the common good, has released its annual end-of-session round-up for the state Legislature.

One of the many victories cited by the Conference involved physician-assisted suicide. Advocates for the proposal failed to get a vote on the bill in any committee in either house of the legislature. 


Another concerned the Clean Slate Act, a proposal with good intentions but possibly dire consequences. This legislation would have sealed most criminal convictions after three years (misdemeanors) or seven years (felonies), with few exceptions. Safe environment directors in the state noted that this would be very problematic in terms of ensuring the protection of children in our programs, as background checks would not pick up older crimes, including violent crimes against children. 


The Halt Solitary Confinement Act, which would dramatically reduce the use of solitary confinement in state prisons, was passed and signed into law by Governor Cuomo.


The report ended with a “thank you” to the members of the Catholic Action Network, whose members responded to Action Alerts from the Conference with tens of thousands of e-mails to state legislators. The Network, an arm of the Catholic Conference, gives us all a larger voice in the halls of government. Through e-mail and social media alerts, it reaches tens of thousands of Catholics to provide educational updates on the important issues being debated and to provide the tools to simplify the process of contacting elected officials.


The full report is available here.

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