Current Issues

ACTION ALERT!

We at Epiphany may be able to make a difference on these justice issues if many of us act quickly.
These appeals come from the Catholic Conference of Kentucky. 
Thanks for considering taking action.
 
I.  ACT NOW.  Stop Senate From Gutting House Bill 70!
                         (re: Restoring Voting Rights)
 
II.  ACT NOW.  Support HB 31, To Clarify When Property May Be Seized
                          (re: eminent domain attempts for proposed pipeline)
 
ALSO:  Contact Info for KY Legislators
_______________________________________________________________
 
I.  ACT NOW.  Please Act Now to Help 180,000 Kentuckians Get Back Voting Rights - Stop Senate From Gutting House Bill 70!
 
Fr. Pat Delahanty, at the Catholic Conference of Kentucky, has asked us at Epiphany to get engaged to work on HB 70 – Today and tomorrow he is hoping we can contact Representative Ron Crimm and urge him to continue to support HB 70 in its original form and to vote NOT TO CONCUR with the Senate amended version.

Then after that vote - which we think will be by Wednesday, we’re asked to call
Sen. Julie Denton and really urge her to vote to RECEDE from the Senate amendment and let the original bill stand without all the amendments attached to it.
 
Contact information for Rep. Crimm and Sen. Denton is below.

Here is the link to the post Fr. Delahanty put up yesterday that has links to all materials needed:

http://ccky.org/2014/02/ky-senate-agrees-to-amendment-on-hb-70-sen-rand-paul-endorses-house-version/
 
 
II.  ACT NOW.  Support HB 31, To Clarify When Property May Be Seized
 
Please contact your State Representative and urge support for HB 31 as amended in the committee for reasons cited below. In addition, please place a call to 1.800.372.7181 and leave a message for ALL members of the House Judiciary Committee: support Rep. Tilley's HB 31 when it comes before your committee for a vote.
 
Proponents who wish to install a new pipeline through many Kentucky counties to transport natural gas liquids have argued they have the right to use eminent domain to force property owners to give them access to their land. 
 
Opponents of the pipeline argue that under Kentucky law the company is not allowed to use the power of eminent domain law and are unable to seize property in this manner. HB 31, as amended by the House Judiciary committee, seeks to clarify the current law and state clearly that natural gas liquids are neither oil nor gas and therefore companies transporting them are not entitled to the use of eminent domain.
 
HB 31 was amended in the House Judiciary Committee on Feb. 19 and is likely to be voted upon at the next regular meeting of the committee.
 
The Catholic Conference does not take a position for or against the installation of the pipeline, butis concerned about how property owners are treated by those who want access to their land and by the apparent lack of state oversight should the pipeline work continue.
 
You can read the full text of the bill and see how that protection for landowners and for our environment is provided for by clicking here. 
 
HB 31 provides some needed protection to ensure fair treatment of persons whose land they seek to use when building the pipeline.
 
To watch a video of the Feb. 19 House Judiciary Committee discussion visit here.
 
CONTACT INFO FOR KY LEGISLATORS
 
Rep. Crimm and Sen. Denton represent the districts within which Epiphany is located.  If you are from another district, please look up your legislator's contact information to send them a message.  We hope to put the contacts of all the legislators together for the parish - in the meantime, you can go to Project Vote Smart at http://votesmart.org/ and get info on your state legislators - as well as other elected officials.
 
Representative Ron Crimm
 
Frankfort
Annex Room 424F
702 Capitol Ave.
Frankfort, KY 40601
Ph: 502/564-8100 ext. 706
Toll-free: 800/372-7181
Fax: 502/564-64533
 
Louisville Office
PO Box 43244
Louisville, KY 40253
Ph: 502/400-3838
Fax: 502/244-1015
 
Senator Julie Denton
 
Louisville Address
1708 Golden Leaf Way
Louisville KY 40245
 
Frankfort Address(es)
702 Capitol Ave
Annex Room 252
Frankfort KY 40601
If you wish to discuss this email, please contact my office below.
Thank you for your consideration.

Larry Howe-Kerr
Social Responsibility Minister
Church of the Epiphany
914 Old Harrods Creek Rd.
Louisville, KY 40223
502-245-9733, ext. 21
Larry Howe-Kerr
Social Responsibility Minister
Church of the Epiphany
914 Old Harrods Creek Rd.
Louisville, KY 40223
502-245-9733, ext. 21



Help for the Typhoon in the Philippines

Catholic Relief Services (CRS) has been working very hard on supporting the communities and people in the Philippines since the Typhoon.  Here are some links and ways you can find out more and help support the efforts of the Global Catholic Church.

http://emergencies.crs.org/typhoon-haiyan-help-philippines-survive-and-recover/

If your Parish is interested in using prayer to connect with those affected, here are some suggestions.http://www.crs.org/prayers/prayer-for-the-philippines.cfm
http://crs.org/prayers/downloads/prayer-for-the-philippines.pdf

If you have a Spanish speaking population: http://www.crsespanol.org/oracion/oracion-por-el-pueblo-de-filipinas





Immigration Reform Action

Friends as the House returns to Washington, the immigration debate will heat up. Here is information that is specific about Kentucky and shows that fixing the system would benefit the state even more. Please use this and begin contacting members of the House and press them to urge their leaders to deal with this issue and for them to support it also. 

We are still trying to get meetings in their districts with staff members, so when we do we will contact those of you who said you wanted to be present. If you wish, please take the initiative and set up meetings for yourself and others.
If you use twitter here are the twitter address for our 6 House members:
@RepHalRogers 
@RepThomasMassie 
@RepGuthrie
@RepJohnYarmuth 
@RepEdWhitfield
@RepAndyBarr 

 

If you want to write your Congressman then go here - http://capwiz.com/ccky/state/main/?state=KY - and put in your zip code (you may need all nine digits) and then click on his name and follow the links to use our alert or send a personal letter. Begin doing all you can to get this out to as many friends of immigration as you know.

 
 

 

Undocumented Immigrants in Kentucky Pay $58.8 Million Annually in State and Local Taxes; Immigration Reform Would Boost State Revenues $23.2 Million

New 50-State Study From The Institute On Taxation And Economic Policy
With fiscal costs and benefits figuring large in the immigration reform debate, a new analysis from the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) estimates that unauthorized immigrants are already paying $10.6 billion a year in state and local taxes nationwide, including $58.8 million in Kentucky. The study also estimates that Kentucky stands to gain $23.2 million in increased revenue should undocumented immigrants currently in the U.S. be allowed to work here legally. The analysis assumes a newly legalized immigrant population of 80,000 in Kentucky, 11.2 million nationally, fully participating in the federal, state and local tax systems. The overall revenue gain for all states would be $2 billion a year.
“We know that undocumented immigrants already pay six or seven percent of their income in state and local taxes, simply because they buy things and they rent or own homes, and sales and property taxes are paid automatically,” said Matthew Gardner, ITEP’s Executive Director.  “With legalization, both wages and tax compliance will go up, resulting in substantial new revenues for states, especially from the income tax.” A recent Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report concluded a similar effect on federal revenues.
States like Kentucky which include an income tax would see the most significant revenue change since it is in the income tax where compliance will increase under reform; unauthorized immigrants currently pay approximately the same level of sales and property taxes as other U.S. residents in the same income brackets.
“At least 50 percent of undocumented immigrants already pay income taxes,” said Anna Baumann, Research and Policy Associate with the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy, “but immigration reform would increase revenues by boosting wages and creating legal channels for full compliance with the income tax. Immigration reform would be good for Kentucky’s immigrant and non-immigrant households, and also for our fiscal health and economy.”
The full study finds:

 

  • Undocumented immigrants in Kentucky currently contribute a collective estimated $58.8 million in state and local taxes each year, for a 7.1 percent average effective tax rate. Nationwide, they pay $10.6 billion in state and local taxes for an average effective tax rate of 6.4 percent.
  • Allowing undocumented immigrants to work legally will increase their state and local tax contributions by an estimated $23 million in Kentucky, raising their effective tax rate to 9.0 percent. Nationally, contributions would increase by $2 billion each year, raising the effective tax rate to 7 percent.
  • Kentucky’s undocumented immigrants currently pay $15.3 million in personal income taxes, $4.8 million in property taxes and $38.8 in sales and excise taxes. Nationally, they pay $1.2 billion in personal income taxes, $1.2 billion in property and $8 billion in sales and excise taxes.

The report also provides:
 

  • A breakdown of tax payments by category (sales, income, property) for each state, before and after immigration reform, including the effect of undocumented immigrants becoming newly eligible for state Earned Income Tax Credits.
  • Key state-by-state data points on the immigrant population underlying the tax analysis.
  • A complete methodology section and footnotes.

The report and a clickable 50-state data map can be accessed at http://www.itep.org/immigration.
# # #
Founded in 1980, the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) is a non-profit, non-partisan research organization, based in Washington, DC, that focuses on federal and state tax policy. ITEP's mission is to inform policymakers and the public of the effects of current and proposed tax policies on tax fairness, government budgets, and sound economic policy. ITEP’s full body of research is available at www.itep.org.
The Kentucky Center for Economic Policy is a non-profit, non-partisan initiative that conducts research, analysis and education on important policy issues facing the Commonwealth. Launched in 2011, the Center is a project of the Mountain Association for Community Economic Development (MACED). For more information, please visit KCEP’s website at www.kypolicy.org.