We’re a little over a third of the way through the 2020 legislative session and have reached the week of session known as turnaround. Turnaround marks the part of session where bills must have made it through the chamber they originated in unless they have been otherwise “blessed” to be exempt from this requirement by leadership. This is where the legislature starts narrowing down what bills it will be considering going forward.
I wanted to take this opportunity to look at some different pro-family bills that may be of an interest to you that are winding their way through our legislature.
- H.B. 2465 – This bill would expand the number of students eligible for our existing low-income tax credit. This tax credit was designed to create a scholarship program to help low-income students move into a school where they can flourish. This allows everyday Kansans to play a role in helping our students thrive by donating to a scholarship granting organization that helps these students excel. Currently, this program is only applicable to a small group of Kansas students, and this bill will allow this program to help more Kansas kids.
- H.B. 2552 – This bill brought by Renee Erickson (an alum of the Statesmen Academy, which is a project of our sister organization, Family Policy Foundation) will help students who are falling behind educationally as determined by their 3rd grade reading assessment. There are thousands of Kansas students every year who are reading below grade level on their 3rd grade reading assessment. This bill will give them the option to take part of the state funding allotment to allow students to pursue educational opportunities that fit their needs. This broadens options for families in educating their children in our state.
- H.B. 2724 & 2725 – These bills are designed to expand options for students performing below level level in English or math or who are determined to have a disability or a learning disability like dyslexia. The programs created by these bills will allow parents to elect to use a portion of the funds allocated for their student to seek alternative education methods for their child. This promotes parent’s ability to make the best decisions for their child.
- H.B. 2506 – This bill would ease the process for military families who have professional licenses valid in other states who move to our state due to their status in the military. This would expedite the professional licensing process for military families and help remove barriers to families in our state.
We are proud to partner with Americans for Prosperity of Kansas in discussing many of these important issues and their effect on the family at the upcoming Day at the Dome Rally. This rally will be held at the Kansas Capitol on Monday, March 9, 2020 at 10:30. If you are able, I encourage each of you to attend.
Further, we are continuing to work to educate legislators on the impact of Medicaid expansion on forced taxpayer funding of abortion. Without the Value Them Both Amendment, Medicaid will become a funding stream for the abortion industry. We are persisting in our work to ensure that Value Them Both appears on your August ballot, where it has the strongest likelihood of passing to protect both mothers and babies in our state.
Many of your legislators will be back in their districts over the next several weeks. I encourage you to reach out to them and encourage them to fight for life and families in Kansas.
For a Kansas where families thrive,
Brittany Jones. Esq.
Director of Advoacy
We have begun to fight back! After just a year in Georgia, we have momentum and are poised to be #Winning again!
Yesterday was “Crossover Day” under the Gold Dome, and we are excited about what God has done this legislative session, the doors He continues to open, and the path forward to seeing our vision fulfilled.
Our Simon’s Law Bill- which prohibits a doctor from placing a Do Not Resuscitate order on a minor without parental consent- was passed through the Senate yesterday and was sponsored by Statesmen Academy alum, Senator Chuck Payne. How awesome it has been to work with Senator Payne and see the vision for Statesmen Academy yield incredible fruit here in Georgia!
Previously, our Tebow Bill- sponsored by Rep. David Clark (HB 905) and Sen. Michael Williams (SB 384)- became the first such legislation to make progress through the General Assembly. Denied passage in previous years, Tebow legislation, which secures the rights of homeschoolers to participate in extracurricular opportunities, will now go to a summer study committee to move this process forward.
Another bill we authored, the “Coach Small Bill”- sponsored by Rep. Kasey Carpenter (HB 922) and Sen. Michael Williams (SB 361)- was the lead story on AJC, received significant TV coverage, and was also the subject of national articles. The “establishment” at the Capitol has opposed this bill, but we continue to work for opportunities to secure these pivotal First Amendment rights for students and faculty.
The Lord has also shepherded Family Policy Alliance of Georgia supported bills to passage in one chamber including SB 375, sponsored by Sen. William Ligon, which protects faith in adoption. Many of you used our Action Center to encourage passage of this bill, and this bill made it through the Senate. Another bill sponsored by Sen. Ligon, SB 339 which protects free speech on college campuses, is likewise headed to the House for consideration. So is the pro-life measure, SB 74, which is sponsored by Sen. Josh McKoon. Finally, a resolution carried by Sen. Marty Harbin, SR 681, passed urging a Parental Rights Amendment.
There is plenty of cause for praise, and there is even more work to do. We look forward to fighting on these issues (and more) as the legislative session hits the home stretch.
Exclusive – Keep an Eye Out: On Monday, Family Policy Alliance of Georgia will announce its endorsement in the race to be the next Governor of Georgia. Honestly, I could not be more excited. We have found the pro-family champion we desperately need in Georgia, and, if we win this election, the entire dynamic at the Capitol will begin to shift. I look forward to sharing this and other election news with you. There is a lot going on in Georgia politics with much more to come in the elections later this year – if you want to support our eefforts, please consider a contribution today.
For His Glory,
President and Executive Director
Verse: “And you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.” Matthew 10:22
The tale of Donald Trump – who went from one of Howard Stern’s favorite guests to President of the United States receiving huge applause from many values voters is, depending on your feelings toward the president, one of the greatest testaments of God’s redeeming grace or one of the most dramatic, politically motivated transformations in history.
Either way, President Trump has certainly enraged some of culture’s greatest villains. Such was the case when Larry Flynt, owner of the pornographic Hustler magazine, issued a $10 million reward for information leading to the impeachment of Donald Trump.
This begs the question, why would Flynt have $10 million worth of hate toward President Trump?
Well, I’m a big believer in the old adage: “If they’re shooting at you, you must be doing something right.” And, to his credit, President Trump, on issues important to the Left, is doing it Right. He has worked to protect the privacy and dignity of female soldiers, rolled back mandates requiring faith-based organizations to provide abortifacients, enhanced religious freedom protections, and, even last week, defined human life as beginning at conception through the Department of Health and Human Services.
This isn’t about praising President Trump, though many of his actions on our issues are commendable. However, when radical cultural evil-doers are getting angry, it’s usually a sign for the Body of Christ to rejoice, as well as commit to prayer.
So, What to Expect Here in Georgia – The candidates we will be supporting will all quickly become targets of the radical Left. We are looking for leaders who support life beginning at conception, believe God was intentional when He designed gender, will stand firm on religious freedom, will fight for parental rights and school choice, and hold to a host of other positions the Left hates. And, given that, the Left will spend big money to oppose the pro-family leaders we champion. Can you help us defend them against coming attacks? Please consider supporting our election efforts with a contribution today.
What to Pray For- This week, I encourage you to pray for a renewed faith for the Church. It can be very easy for God’s people to look around at our culture and feel it will never be reclaimed. However, there have been numerous points in history where God has granted our world a reprieve and used His people to create a dramatic shift in culture. He can do so again, and we, as His people, need to believe in His power to do so, pray fervently, and get involved.
I’ve Been Everywhere, Man (a praise!) – To rejoice with you, I continue to be so grateful for all our great friends around the state. This week, I put over 1,500 miles on my car visiting concerned believers who long to see Christ honored in our state. There is a real hunger to see a Georgia where God is honored, religious freedom flourishes, families thrive, and life is cherished. I am so encouraged by that!
In His Service,
Photo by Stephen Theis, father-in-law of the executive director of Delaware
Family Policy Council, an ally of Family Policy Alliance.
by Autumn Leva, Director of Policy & Communication
“Let there be light,” and then there was light. And it was good.
God separated the light from the darkness, and there was “day” and “night.”
God made two great lights — the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. And God saw that it was good.
There are some truths that are so self-evident that even we humans, try as we may to ignore them or claim that “truth is relative,” can’t obscure them. We see this play out during those times that unite our nation, touch our soul, and leave us forever changed.
This week’s eclipse was one of those times. Millions drove for miles to be in the “path of totality.”
The Guardian reported viewers’ reactions such as “life-changing,” “worth everything” and “awestruck.” At the end of the total eclipse, one person said, “I’m not religious but I think it’s something very like when God says, ‘Let there be light.’”
God made light and darkness, the Sun and the Moon, and called them “good.” He governs their paths perfectly, so that we neither freeze nor burn. The heavens declare the majesty of God. We saw this week that this is a truth that cannot be obscured.
Just as the awesome heavenly display united us as a people and boldly declared the truth of God’s authority and majesty over Creation, there are other more sobering times that bring us together and reinforce truths.
Charlottesville was one of those times. We saw racism on display, and we reject it as evil. Just like we rejected the Holocaust and brought its architects to justice.
Good and evil. Light and darkness. These themes wage against each other in varying forms in each generation with Truth always on trial and yet always prevailing, eventually.
In our time, Truth is on trial once again as it relates to:
- Life: All humans made in His image — making every life worth fighting for, from conception to natural death and worthy of dignity and respect in between.
- Family: Male and female united for life, raising Godly offspring (Genesis 1:27-28).
- Parental Rights: Parents’ rightful role in their kids’ lives as the primary directors of their education, values, faith and upbringing.
Try as we may, these are truths that cannot be obscured. And, these truths are why Family Policy Alliance exists. Our alliance strives to be your family’s voice declaring these truths at state capitols around the country, and we work to advance public policy that reflects these truths.
Even in elections, we work to train and then elect state and national leaders who will not just talk about these truths in order to win an election — but will truly live them out whether they serve at your state capitol or in Washington, D.C. And, we also equip pastors and church leaders to speak these truths to a nation searching for meaning, answers and Light.
In other words, our heart is to help you, your church and your elected leaders be the light in the often dark world of politics and policy. If you too believe that that our laws and elected leaders should reflect unshakeable biblical truths, we hope you’ll partner with us. The easiest way is to make Family Policy Alliance part of your regular monthly giving.
Also, if you’re already connected with us by email, please make sure we have your street address. When something important happens in your state, like a major pro-life bill or legislation that could limit your parental rights, we send special alerts specific to your state and district. Accurate addresses help us make sure these alerts go to the right place. Make sure your address is correct here.
Imagine, as we all work together to restore biblical truths to the laws and politics in our state — we can then say with one voice “and then there was Light.”
When your state legislature is flooded with bills, how do you discern which are worthy of your support?
Eric Teetsel, president of Family Policy Alliance of Kansas, shares from personal experience how he makes that sometimes difficult decision. His insights are true for every state in the country.
Learn more about Family Policy Alliance of Kansas.
The Arizona Legislature recently passed bills protecting the sanctity of human life and allowing parents unprecedented choice in where they send their children to school.
One of the bills, SB 1367, is a law that provides basic, humane medical care for babies born alive after abortions. Cathi Herrod, president of the Center for Arizona Policy, one of Family Policy Alliance’s 40 state-based groups said the bill is just common sense.
“Babies who survive abortions could get a chance at life,” she said. “If Gov. Ducey signs this bill, babies would be given basic, humane medical care to save them.”
Arizona lawmakers also took steps to protect the conscience rights of health care workers who do not want to participate in physician assisted suicide. SB 1439 also protects those in the medical field from discrimination based on their faith beliefs.
“No one should be forced to participate in actions that violate their conscience,” explained Herrod. “This bill strengthens existing law to protect the rights of conscience of health care workers and also provides legal recourse if they face discrimination for exercising that right.”
And parents in Arizona got some good news when the Legislature passed a near-universal education savings account plan. The accounts allow parents to choose which school their child attends and the funds roll over from year to year.
“This groundbreaking school choice bill makes Arizona the first state to put in place a universal Empowerment Scholarship Account program,” said Herrod. “SB 1431 opens up eligibility to all Arizona students in a district or charter school. We’re grateful for the many lawmakers who took a bold stand for students and voted to pass this important legislation.”
FOR MORE INFORMATION
To find one of Family Policy Alliance’s groups in your state, visit our website.
Even in left-leaning New York, many people hold pro-family and pro-life values.
Our Stuart Shepard helped out at a large event in Albany this week that was organized by our allies at New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms and New Yorker’s Family Research Foundation.
Stuart asked President Jason McGuire and keynote speakers David and Jason Benham how to effectively motivate Christian conservatives to influence legislation at state capitols.
Learn more about New Yorker’s Family Research Foundation.