Financial disclosure bill defeated

Financial disclosure bill defeated

In the end, I think it was the sweeping nature that did it in. The Mass. House of Representatives last night voted down a bill that would have placed onerous financial disclosure requirements on all churches. The impetus behind the bill was disgruntled Catholic and pro-gay politicians who are mad at the Church for (1) the Scandal and (2) opposing gay marriage. But because they couldn’t aim the bill only at the Church, they made it apply generally to all churches.

To recap, the bill would have required all religious organizations to file detailed annual financial reports with the state. This would have placed a huge bureaucratic and financial burden not just on the Catholic dioceses—because every single parish would have to file individually—but also on the hundreds of small Protestant churches.

The whole way, the Boston Globe tried to paint a picture of this bill having widespread support. In the end it was defeated 147 to 3. Yeah, lots of support there.

What doomed it was what every critic said from the beginning: it would never pass constitutional muster. The first federal judge to see it would have struck it down. That’s one little victory in the People’s Republic for the forces of democracy. Will we see more?

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Written by
Domenico Bettinelli
  • The fact is, the bill earlier passed the Senate with only four dissenting votes.  How you go from 90-10 in favor to 98-2 against in a few months is beyond me.  This is a watershed turnaround, which perhaps ought to be investigated by the Church as a possible miracle.


    In addition, Archbishop Sean P. O’Malley sent a letter last week to the parishes in the Boston Archdiocese, telling them to lobby their state representative. It included a special report card that each parish priest or leader was told to fill out, recording where the legislator stood on the issue. The card was to be sent back to the State House lobbyist for the state’s four Catholic dioceses.

    ‘‘I have never seen, in my memory, this tactic ever employed, even on moral and social issues by the church,” Galvin said.

  • As I noted in another blog, I’m sure Abp O’Malley will work as hard lobbying the Legislature to vote for the Marriage Amendment petition in 2006 and 2007 so we can vote on it in 2008.

  • Earlier, the Legislature backed away from the idea of giving in-state tuition to illegal aliens. 

    That was a good one. Giving things to illegals which other citizens of the US do not get.