5 Minutes for Families
- Free to believe 27-Feb-2015
- What Will It Be - Your Voice or Planned Parenthood's? 20-Feb-2015
- Loud and Clear 16-Feb-2015
- This Shouldn't Be That Difficult 06-Feb-2015
- One Size Doesn't Fit All 30-Jan-2015
- Arizona Churches Need Your Voice! 03-Mar-2015
- It's Time to Vote! 04-Nov-2014
- Mail in your early ballot TODAY! 29-Oct-2014
- It's Time to Vote! 26-Aug-2014
- ACTION ALERT: Mail in your early ballot TODAY! 19-Aug-2014
- Poll Finds Majority Support for Religious Freedom and Voter-Approved Definition of Marriage 26-Feb-2015
- How did they vote? 13-May-2014
- Find the Facts: CAP Reboots The Policy Pages with Interactive Website 29-Jan-2014
- BREAKING NEWS: New AZ Abortion Clinic Regulations Released Today 27-Jan-2014
- Mother’s Health & Safety at Risk: Supreme Court Will Not Hear Critical Law 13-Jan-2014
A CAP-supported bill to help churches could be voted on by the Arizona Senate very soon – and your senator urgently needs to hear from you!
Churches give back to their communities in countless ways, that’s why they have always been exempt from property tax.
Yet churches that rent their property in Arizona do not get this same benefit – this is a tremendous inequality that can result in smaller churches not receiving the same benefit as other churches that can afford to own their facility.
HB 2128 fixes this inequity by exempting churches that rent their property from paying most property taxes.
This simple bill is a common sense fix with broad support – for example, Maricopa County Assessor Paul Petersen supports this measure. Yet there are a handful or organizations working to undermine this bill. That’s why it’s critical that you contact your elected officials today!
Here are some basic facts about HB 2128:
- This simple bill ensures all churches are treated equally – whether they rent their church or own their property. Churches that rent would be receiving this benefit if they could afford to own their property. This bill simply ensures these churches are not penalized because they don’t have a big enough budget.
- HB 2128 ensures the tax break is passed onto the church. HB 2128 has protections in it to ensure that property owners are passing the tax break onto the church that rents their property.
- Any impact HB 2128 will have on the state budget will be negligible. Yet, it will greatly help churches that are serving our communities. And remember, these churches would be completely exempt from property taxes if they could afford to buy their property.
- Read more about HB 2128 on CAP’s Fact Sheet.
- Contact your State Senator. This bill could be heard on the Arizona Senate Floor very soon. Don’t delay – click to send them a note today!
- Forward this email to a friend. We are getting reports that opponents of this bill have already begun contacting legislators and their county assessors. They must hear from supporters to pass HB 2128!
- Pray! Pray that this important bill becomes law.
I’m sure Barronelle Stutzman could not ever have imagined she would be on Fox News’ Kelly File. Nor could she have imagined she could face losing her house and business after referring her long time friend and customer to another florist because she didn’t want to arrange flowers for his same-sex wedding.
Yet here she is, in the center of a highly contentious fight. And her commitment to God and to the cause of freedom is unwavering.
See for yourself: click to watch the video below:
Barronelle’s story is beginning to strike a chord with the public. No matter what you believe about the definition of marriage, you shouldn’t lose your job or your home for not wanting to participate in a same-sex wedding.
This was overwhelmingly clear in the poll Family Research Council and CAP released this week.
Not only did the poll find that 53% of Americans still believe that marriage is the union of one man and one woman, it found that 81% believe that people should be free to follow their beliefs about marriage in the way they live their lives or run their business.
Apparently, even some in the LGBT community find the Washington State Attorney General’s and the American Civil Liberties Union’s lawsuits against Barronelle offensive. Here are just some of the comments from the article:
The question of religious freedom is simple. What should merely be matters of disagreement have turned into government coercion. Instead of respecting differences of opinion, the government is now being used to stifle differing beliefs.
53% agree that “marriage should be defined only as the union of one man and one woman”
A new poll finds that more than 53% of Americans agree with Arizona’s voter-approved definition of marriage as only the union of one man and one woman. The poll also found that more than 8 in 10 Americans believe people who hold to this voter-approved definition of marriage should be free to follow these beliefs in their daily lives or in the way they run a business.
The poll comes as the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to hear oral arguments over whether voters have the freedom to set marriage law in their state.
WPA Opinion Research, who conducted the poll of 800 registered voters, also surveyed whether the Supreme Court should uphold the right of voters to define marriage. The poll found that 61% agree that “states and citizens should remain free to uphold marriage as the union of a man and a woman, and the Supreme Court shouldn’t force all 50 states to redefine marriage.”
“It’s clear that marriage matters to voters. Furthermore, the freedom of belief and the freedom to vote for a cause are of the utmost importance,“ said Cathi Herrod, President of Center for Arizona Policy. “The Supreme Court should not silence the will of the voters. What’s more, the government should not penalize people for believing that marriage is between a man and a woman.”
Family Research Council and Center for Arizona Policy commissioned the survey. Along with the upcoming Supreme Court Decision on the definition of marriage, there have been a number of incidents of people of faith being fired or sued by the government for holding to their beliefs.
In Atlanta, the city’s Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran was fired for writing a devotional for his church on his personal time. The devotional professed a biblical view of sexuality. Despite an unparalleled record of achievement as the city’s fire chief, Atlanta’s mayor fired Cochran for his beliefs about marriage. Cochran is currently suing the city for discrimination.
In Washington state, florist Barronelle Stutzman has been sued by the Washington Attorney General and American Civil Liberties Union for declining to make a floral arrangement for a same-sex wedding. Stutzman had served members of the LGBT community for years, but believed she would be violating her religious convictions to make floral arrangements for a same-sex wedding, so she referred the gay couple to another florist in town.
“What should be simple matters of disagreement has turned into government coercion. Instead of respecting differences of opinion, the government is now being used to stifle differing beliefs,” said Herrod.
The poll was conducted February 2-4 and has a margin of error of +/-3.5%. You can access thebreakdown of the poll here.
Center for Arizona Policy promotes and defends the foundational values of life, marriage and family, and religious freedom. For more information, visit azpolicy.org.
In speech after speech, I hear legislators talk about the number of emails they received from constituents about proposed legislation. I cannot emphasize enough how critically important it is that you make your voice heard and engage in the public policy process. To be very candid with you, it’s not enough to say – oh CAP is out there representing me. No, we need your voice backing up our work at the Capitol.
A key way to make your voice heard is to respond to our Action Alerts. Thank you to everyone who responded to our Action Alerts asking you to contact your legislators to support SB 1318, which protects your tax dollars from paying for abortions, and HB 2128, which ensures churches that rent their property don’t pay property taxes, just like churches that own their property. Responding to CAP’s Action Alert emails and communicating with your legislators is an important way to make your values and your voice heard.
Yesterday, SB 1318 passed the Senate by a vote of 17-12! The bill will now move to the House.
HB 2128 passed the House last week by a vote of 33-25, and will be heard next week in the Senate Finance Committee.
Watch for more Action Alerts from CAP as these bills move forward, and be sure to contact your legislators right away when you hear from us.
Four key ways you can get involved:
1. Register to vote
Visit azvoterguide.com to register to vote online.
2. Contact your legislators
At azpolicy.org, use CAP's Take Action Center to find your legislators, and send them a note. A state senator this week shared how much it meant to simply have a constituent email her with a prayer for her. Others share how much a simple thank you means to them. To communicate effectively with your legislators, make sure your note is brief and to the point. And remember to be polite and grateful – our legislators are serving our state and working hard for their constituents.
3. Vote on legislation at azvoices.gov
The state built this website to allow voters to make their voice heard on specific legislation.
The single most important action you can do for our state is pray for our leaders. Ask that the Lord blesses, protects, and guides our elected officials to do what's best for our state.
The voice of the pro-family movement was heard loud and clear this week as more than 400 Center for Arizona Policy supporters rallied at the legislature for our Day at the Capitol.
In the morning, we welcomed Alliance Defending Freedom’s Senior Legal Counsel Jim Campbell who shared an update on the legal fight to protect the right of voters to define marriage as only the union of one man and one woman. As KTAR’s Bob McClay reported, Jim said our work to build a culture that respects marriage begins now:
"We can begin by ourselves being better spouses, better mothers, better fathers and better children. We should encourage our friends and neighbors who are experiencing difficulties in their marriages to stay the course, especially when kids are involved.”
Later in the morning, Governor Doug Ducey addressed the crowd. Once again the Governor reaffirmed his support of foundational principles, saying he is “proudly pro-life” and he “looks forward to working with us on those issues.”
Governor Ducey also challenged the faith-based community to continue to work to solve the foster care and adoption crisis.
We’ve seen the faith-based community step up in incredible ways these last few years to meet the needs of children needing a safe place to sleep at night. Christian Family Care Agency, AZ 127 and area pastors have led the effort. Through 5 Minutes for Families and my work with the prior administration, we have publicized the need. But as I said in response to Gov. Ducey at the Day at the Capitol, we can do better and we have to do better. Much work remains to be done. Learn more about the need for foster care parents and how you can help by visiting Christian Family Care Agency and AZ 127.
Following the Governor’s remarks, all those in attendance got a tour of the state Capitol, going through the state Senate and House.
After the tours, and a lunch of Joe’s BBQ, the crowd heard from legislative leaders. The speakers included, Senate President Andy Biggs, Senate Majority Leader Steve Yarbrough, House Majority Leader Steve Montenegro, Senator Nancy Barto, Senator Kimberly Yee, Representative Justin Olson, Representative Tony Rivero, and Representative Jill Norgaard.
Once lunch and the speeches concluded, we packed the House and Senate galleries for the opening of the floor sessions and were introduced to the members.
The day was truly unforgettable. One of the top highlights came at the very end, when CAP-supportedSB 1318 was heard in the Senate Health Committee. This pro-life bill protects taxpayers from subsidizing abortions by prohibiting abortion coverage on the Arizona’s federal healthcare exchange.
The committee hearing room was filled to capacity with pro-life supporters when I testified in support of the legislation. Despite Planned Parenthood’s misguided – and even false – attacks against the bill, it passed by a 4-3 vote.
What an amazing day! Thank you to all those who came out. If you’d like to see more pictures, visit our Facebook page. While you’re there, be sure to like us!
And remember, whether you were able to make it to the Day at the Capitol or not, our work to promote and defend life, marriage and family, and religious freedom isn’t accomplished in just one day. It’s an ongoing effort.
Sometimes I’m still amazed at how seemingly common sense legislation can run into inane and outspoken opposition.
For instance, every church that owns their property in Arizona is exempt from paying property tax. Churches get this benefit because of the benefits they provide for our community. This principle is so ingrained in our state that it is included in the Arizona Constitution.
Yet there’s only one small problem: churches that rent their property do not get this benefit. Instead they are faced with thousands – sometimes even tens of thousands – of dollars in taxes.
This is why CAP supports HB 2128 – a simple bill to help fix this inequity. It’s hard to imagine why anyone would oppose a bill like this – it’s not exactly a partisan issue that churches should be exempt from paying property tax.
But as it is, HB 2128 received some loud opposition when it was heard on the Arizona House floor this week.
Opponents of the bill threw everything they could at it – typically making demonstrably false attacks against the legislation, and even some in the media made misleading statements about HB 2128.
For example, one of the main attacks against the bill was that it did not guarantee that property owners would pass the property tax-savings down to the church that was renting their property.
You only need to read the bill itself to see that this cannot happen:
“A property owner who leases property to a church, religious assembly or religious institution as provided by this paragraph shall file an affidavit with the county assessor stating that the church, religious assembly or religious institution shall be the sole beneficiary of the change in property tax classification pursuant to this section…”
What’s more, activists from the “Secular Coalition of Arizona” started emailing your representatives, encouraging them to vote against this bill.
This is why we sent out an Action Alert earlier this week, asking for your help.
I’m happy to report that your voice was heard, and HB 2128 overcame this opposition.
In a 33-25-2 vote, the House passed the bill. It now heads over to the Senate.
I said this going into this legislative session, and I’ll say it again – nothing is going to come easy for the pro-life, pro-family movement going forward. It will truly take an effort from the entire community to ensure that even the most basic bills become law.
You can track the progress of this bill going forward on our Bill Tracker or by liking us on Facebook.
And remember to be on the look out for future Action Alerts. We only send out an Alert when it is absolutely necessary, and when we do, we urgently need your help.
The Latest from AZPolicyPages.com
- Join CAP at the Capitol! There is still time to RSVP for our Day at the Capitol on February 11 from 9:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. We’ll have a visit from Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, provide you tours of the legislature and more!
- Pro-life, the Next Generation. John Stonestreet from the Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview discusses the next generation of pro-life leaders.
- Oregon Cake Bakers Found Guilty. The owners of a Christian bakery now face up to a $200,000 fine for declining to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding because of their Christian faith.
This week is National School Choice Week – an opportunity to highlight the vast array of educational opportunities for families throughout our state.
When it comes to education, one size doesn’t fit all. Every child is unique, and no one is better equipped to know the best educational option for their children as parents. That’s why Center for Arizona Policy has been a leading advocate in the state to advance legislation that ensures every family has access to the schooling that best meets their needs – whether that’s public, private, charter, online, or home education.
So far this year, CAP is working with other organizations that promote school choice to advance five bills, with more bills anticipated to open educational doors to families. Click on the bill number to read our Fact Sheet on the bill.
- HB 2152: Expands the corporate scholarship tax credit to allow contributions to be made if an entity has luxury tax liability.
- HB 2153: Expands the corporate scholarship tax credit to allow subchapter S Corporations and Limited Liability Companies to be qualified to make donations under the corporate scholarship tax credit program.
- HB 2174: Expands the Empowerment Scholarship Account (ESA) program to include children that are being cared for by their grandparents.
- HB 2250: Clarifies that siblings of ESA-eligible students are eligible at the same time and do not need to wait one year before becoming eligible.
- SB 1332: Expands the ESA program to include children that live on reservations.
If you’d like to know more about Arizona’s School Choice programs, check out these Issue Briefs from CAP’s AZPolicyPages.com.
Lastly, as you prepare to do your taxes for 2014, remember that you can still take advantage of the Scholarship Tax Credit program thanks to a CAP-supported law that extended the deadline to make a qualifying donation to an STO to April 15 of the following year.
The Latest from AZPolicyPages.com
- Join CAP at the Capitol! Mark your calendars now for February 11 from 9:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. We’ll have a visit from Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, provide you tours of the legislature and more!
- "Churches could see tax-free rent” – The Arizona Republic reports on the CAP-supported bill that ensures churches that rent their property don’t pay property tax just like those churches that own.
Once again the anniversary of Roe v Wade has come and passed. This U.S. Supreme Court decision from January 22, 1973 legalized abortion in America. Since that date, more than 56 million lives have been lost to abortion.
In many ways, we’ve come so far since our nation’s high court issued this terrible decree.
I was reminded of this yesterday when I was joined by 60 pro-life students at the state legislature for our first Pro-life Student Lobby Day. These students came down to the Capitol to show their support for life, and to learn how they can have their voice heard in the political process.
I also see the signs of progress when I look at all the common sense pro-life laws we’ve been able to pass in recent years.
Yet there is still a ways to go before every innocent life and woman is protected from the dangerous and deadly practices of the abortion industry.
Unfortunately, the tough fight ahead was once again made clear in Washington D.C. this week. Congressional leadership had been making plans to pass H.R. 36 yesterday – the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. Sponsored by Arizona’s own Rep. Trent Franks, this law mirrored Arizona’s Mother’s Health and Safety Act by prohibiting most abortions after 20 weeks (sadly, our state’s law has been blocked by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals).
The stage was set for the important bill to pass out of Congress. Not only do pro-lifers supposedly hold a pro-life majority in the U.S. House of Representatives, but the House had passed the same bill last year. What’s more, this bill was to be passed right as pro-lifers from across the nation descended on D.C. for the annual March for Life.
Yet once again, politics came before principle, and the bill was derailed at the last minute after two Republican Congresswomen flipped on the bill and led a revolt against the vote. These very same women voted for the bill the year before, but now blocked this important legislation.
I think Dr. Russell Moore said it best when he said "I am disgusted by this act of moral cowardice. If the House Republicans cannot pass something as basic as restricting the abortion of five-month, pain-capable unborn children, what can they get done?"
It is no longer good enough for our elected officials in Washington D.C. to pay lip service to the pro-life community, and then shrink back when it’s time for the rubber to meet the road. Lives are being lost. Women are being harmed. And it’s been 42 long years.
While I share in the frustration of pro-lifers across the country, our resolve to protect life cannot waiver. Until the day this terrible decision is overturned, we will not rest.
The Latest from AZPolicyPages.com
If there’s one thing you read this week, it has to be this article in the Washington Post from a Phoenix area abortion doctor.
Gabrielle Goodrick has run a private abortion clinic in the Valley since 1999. She penned this article for the Washington Post to explain what it’s been like as the state has passed a number of regulations on the abortion industry.
CAP supported and even drafted these laws to ensure abortion clinics were held to common sense health and safety standards, and were providing women with all the information women deserve on pregnancy and abortion. The laws passed because Arizona citizens rose up and elected pro-life legislators to pass the laws and a Governor – Jan Brewer – to sign the laws.
For the pro-life community, Goodrick’s article is both encouraging and deeply disturbing.
What I find encouraging is that CAP-supported laws are having an impact.
In the article, Goodrick recounts what it was like for her performing abortions in Arizona prior to our state passing these pro-life laws:
“…One of my family practice patients had an unplanned pregnancy. I told her, ‘if you want to come back in two days, we can do it, like any other medical thing.’ So she went home, we did a couple of consent forms, and that was it. Then I started getting referrals.
Literally I needed a pulse oximeter to monitor their vitals, a vacuum machine and staff and a recovery room, and the knowledge and skills to do it.
That could never happen now. You have to be a licensed abortion clinic, and have inspections, and all kinds of things that didn’t exist in the year 2000.”
It’s untenable that clinics like Goodrick’s didn’t have to be inspected or licensed before performing abortions. Yet thankfully today, they are held to these basic standards.
What is also good to see is that because of common sense laws like these, clinics are shutting down. Goodrick writes:
“Even in the last 4 years, we’ve lost a lot of clinics. There’s 3 Planned Parenthood locations that do medical abortions and surgery. But really in terms of private clinics there are maybe 4 or 5. Texas has a lot of press, but we have no rural providers at all.”
But as I said, there are aspects of Goodrick’s piece that are deeply upsetting.
Throughout the piece, there is an overall sense of how casually Goodrick approaches the issue, that this is a procedure that is just a “medical thing,” instead of a life-altering (and ending) decision.
It’s this casual view of abortion that leads to more than 13,000 abortions per year in Arizona.
January 22 is the 42nd anniversary of Roe v Wade – the U.S. Supreme Court Case that legalized abortion in America. Goodrick’s article and these 13,000 lost lives are a reminder of what we’re facing, how far we’ve come, and what we still need to get done.
This week, take time to re-assess how you can make a difference in the fight to build a culture of life that protects both preborn children and their parents. Consider helping out your local pregnancy resource center. Pray for those working in the abortion industry. Send a note to your elected officials encouraging them to support pro-life measures.
Latest from AZPolicyPages.com
- Our Seared Conscience on Abortion. Pastor Matt Chandler boldly discusses the crisis of abortion in our culture.
- The Super Bowl and Sex Trafficking. A flood of sex trafficking is coming to Phoenix.
- Fired. The Mayor of Atlanta has fired the city’s Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran after Cochran wrote a book professing a biblical view of sexuality.
ICYMI: The Arizona Republic recently published a number of editorials claiming “most” CAP-supported pro-life provisions passed by the state recently have been overturned by the courts. I wrote an editorial that ran in the paper on Thursday setting the record straight. You can read it here.
When five Houston pastors had their sermons subpoenaed after speaking out against an overreaching ordinance that severely threatened religious freedom, clergy across the nation began to recognize what is at stake.
Not only are businesses at risk of being penalized or shut down for holding to their religious beliefs, but the fundamental freedoms of churches and pastors are on the line.
It’s in this context that I’ve been blessed to see church leaders throughout the town of Glendale rise up to speak out against a so-called “non-discrimination” ordinance in their town.
Prior to Christmas, some members of the Glendale City Council made it clear their goal was to pass one of these ordinances before the Super Bowl. Yet after an outcry from the people of Glendale and local pastors, this process has been greatly slowed down.
Pastor John Kelley of Calvary Community Church spoke at a Council meeting in December and urged the Council to not hastily pass the measure, and truly hear from the community.
“The city has historically made decisions quickly that we’ve regretted. I plead with the council to not hurry but to listen. It will have a tremendous impact on people of faith as well as the rest of the citizens,” Pastor Kelley said. “Please, listen to us and seek our voice in this decision.”
Then just this week, more than 50 pastors and church leaders from Glendale showed up at the Council to urge them not to pass one of these ordinances.
The pastors let their concerns be known about the need to pass an ordinance, when there has been no record of discrimination of any kind in the city.
The fact that the Council slowed down this process is a welcome move and even a step towards victory, but this issue is far from over.
If you live in Glendale, make sure your voice is heard by sending an email or making a call to the Council, asking them not to pass a needless ordinance that could have chilling consequences.
The Latest from AZPolicyPages.com
- Join us for the Prayer Walk! For a number of years now, we’ve kicked off the legislative session with our Capitol Prayer Walk. Along with Bridgebuilders, we’ll cover the state Capitol and our elected leaders in prayer. Be there this Monday, January 12 at 7 a.m. We’re meeting at the flag pole at the Capitol Mall – remember, dress warm!
- Glendale Residents Rally. Read ADF’s statement on the residents of Glendale rallying to oppose needless “non-discrimination” ordinances that threaten religious freedom and put unnecessary regulations on businesses.