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Missouri Family E-News

April 2, 2013

       
Governor Signs Bill to Extend PRC Tax Credits 

 

Governor Jay Nixon has signed legislation which restores a state tax credit program that benefits pregnancy resource centers.

 

The law, sponsored by Senator Bob Dixon of Springfield, revives and extends a number of benevolent tax credits through December 31, 2019.   

 

The pregnancy resource center tax credit expired last August.  Under the program, donors to PRC's can deduct 50 percent of their contributions from their state tax liability.  The maximum annual credit which can be claimed from the program is $50,000.

 

Dixon's bill received nearly universal support from his colleagues.  The Senate adopted it on a unanimous vote, and the House approved it by a 157-1 margin.  Representive Eric Burlison had sponsored a companion bill in the House. 

 

"With this bill, we tap the strong charitable spirit of Missourians to drive local efforts to help Missouri's neediest citizens,"  Dixon says.  "It encourages individuals to support their friends and neighbors who are on the front lines helping others."

 

Other benevolent tax credits extended through the law signed by the Governor include those for food pantries, child advocacy centers, developmental disability care providers, and the surviving spouses of public safety officers.

 

Efforts to extend the pregnancy resource center tax credit had become embroiled in recent years in a highly contentious debate over business development tax credits established for economic development purposes.

 

Advocates for the non-profit community hope the enactment of the new law will extricate benevolent tax credits from future debate over the wisdom of the business tax incentives.

   

 



Judge Nixes Law Defying Abortion Drug Mandate

A federal judge has invalidated a Missouri law that protected the religious freedom of Missouri employers and employees.

U.S. District Judge Audrey Fleissig has struck down a law adopted by the General Assembly last year which opposed the federal contraceptive and abortion drug mandate.

Under the law, sponsored by Senator John Lamping of Ladue, no employee or employer could be forced to purchase or provide health insurance plans including coverage for abortion or contraceptives if such items or procedures are contrary to their religious beliefs.

Judge Fleissig's decision was expected, since the Missouri law was in direct conflict with the contraceptive edict issued by U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

Sebelius issued the contraceptive mandate under authority granted her by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as Obamacare.

Judge Fleissig ruled that the state law was preempted by federal law under the Supremacy Clause to the U.S. Constitution.  The challenge to the law was brought by the Missouri Insurance Coalition, who argued that the statute forced insurers to choose between compliance with federal or state law under threat of fines and penalties.

Whether intended or not, Fleissig's order eliminated a state requirement that insurance companies offer coverage excluding contraceptives for religious institutions.  The federal mandate provides an exemption for churches and their "integrated auxiliaries."

The federal mandate requires all health insurance policies to include coverage without copays for all contraceptives approved by the Food and Drug Administration.  This includes abortifacient drugs such as Plan B and Ella.
 
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Boy Scout Leaders Launch Campaign to Preserve Scout Oath  

 

 

A coalition of Boy Scouts leaders from across the country has launched a campaign to preserve the core principles of the Boy Scouts of America.  The group is called On My Honor, and is fighting to maintain Scouting's central purpose to develop youth with a commitment to God and country.

 

Boy Scout executives are proposing a radical change in the Scouting program which would allow boys who affirm homosexuality to be participants in Boy Scout activities.  National administrators of the Boy Scouts of America are also suggesting a change in which adult homosexual men would be "welcomed" to serve as leaders of Boy Scout troops.

 

"On My Honor" is taken from the opening words of the Scout Oath in which a Scout pledges to fulfill his duty to God and country by "helping other people at all times" and by keeping himself  "physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight."

 

John Stemberger, an adult Eagle Scout who is the national spokesperson for the group, says the Boy Scout program is a national treasure.   "The Boy Scouts are one of the great jewels of American culture...We support the timeless values Scouting represents that have been a tradition for over 100 years."

 

Stemberger says the goal of the coalition is to "keep sex and politics out of Scouting."  "We support the current policy of Scouting...which disallows the open and aggressive promotion of homosexuality and political agendas.  We believe that is utterly inappropriate where young boys are being trained to be men."

 

The National Executive Board of the Boy Scouts of America met in early February to consider the policy change advanced by Scouting executives.  Under that proposal, individual Scout troops would be allowed to decide whether to incorporate homosexual Scouts and homosexual Scout leaders into their ranks.

 

The Boy Scouts' National Executive Board decided to defer a final decision on the issue to Scouting's National Council, which is composed of the leaders of Boy Scout councils throughout the United States.  Scouting administrators are expected to release a recommended resolution later this month, which will then be voted on by the National Council at a meeting in Grapevine, Texas, in late May.

 

Attorneys for the Alliance Defense Fund issued a statement saying the "local option" proposal would create a moral and legal quagmire for Scout troops on the regional level.  "Such a policy would expose both the Boy Scouts of America and local troops that choose to adhere to the existing policy to substantial litigation--litigation they cannot afford."  

 

"The Boy Scouts of America has taken a brave stand for the right of private associations to adhere to moral values," the statement continues.  "Scouting set a national standard that has protected not only the Boy Scouts and its members, but countless other organizations that also require members to affirm and abide by their morals and values."

 

That statement is referring to a landmark Supreme Court decision in 2000 known as Boy Scouts of America v. Dale.  In that ruling, the nation's highest court stated that the Boy Scouts of America have a constitutional right to freedom of association with those who share their "expressive message."

 

The sudden move by national Scouting executives to relax the longstanding moral standards of Scouting is the result of intense pressure from corporate donors who have already withdrawn or threatened to withdraw major annual corporate gifts due to Scouting's commitment to train boys to be "morally straight."  The pressure also comes from current members of the Board who represent corporations that are in the vanguard of the "gay rights" movement.

 

"For generations, the Boy Scouts have stood firm on certain moral principles that have successfully shaped our nation's boys into leaders," says ADF Senior Counsel David Cortman.  "Its leadership should defend the Scouts' honor and stand strong on the principles that have made the Boy Scouts one of  America's revered institutions."

 

A decision by the Boy Scouts to abandon the cornerstone principles of the Scout Oath would have disastrous consequences for the culture of character development in Scouting.  Nearly 70 percent of the country's 100,000 Scouting units are chartered to religious organizations.  The majority of local troops are sponsored by Catholic, Mormon, Southern Baptist, and United Methodist congregations, for whom homosexuality is incompatible with their Scriptural beliefs.

 

The Hollywood elites have ramped up their malevolent attacks on the values of Scouting with even more vicious invectives.  Pop singer Madonna delivered an obscene diatribe against the Boy Scouts at the recent awards dinner for GLAAD (the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation).

 

"It's no different than a white supremacist hanging a black man from a tree before the civil rights movement," Madonna outrageously declared.  "It's no different than a member of the Taliban shooting a young girl in the head for writing a blog about the importance of getting an education."

 

Former Pennsylvania Congressman Dick Schulze, himself an Eagle Scout, says Scouting must stand up to such bigotry.  "What kind of message are we sending to our young people if the very leaders who are teaching Boy Scouts to be brave, cannot find the courage to avoid caving to pressure from Hollywood and political activists?"

 

You can visit the On My Honor website by using this link:

OnMyHonor 

 

You can also learn more by visiting a dedicated page on the website of the Family Research Council.  There you can sign a petition to the Boy Scouts of America, watch a video on the issue, and download a brochure on the subject.  Here is that link:

Family Research Council 

 

We also encourage you to contact the Boy Scout Council in your area to encourage them to uphold the Scout Oath and the moral principles of the Scouting program.  Here are the links for the Councils located in the State of Missouri:

 

Pony Express 

Heart of America 

Ozark Trails 

Great Rivers 

Greater St. Louis Area 

 

 

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