CCI Executive Director Robert Gilligan hosts the Catholic Conference Radio Hour on the third Monday of the month on Relevant Radio. Gilligan discusses current public policy issues affecting the Church with experts and newsmakers.
Illinois primary election is tomorrow, so Bob talks about the GOP race for governor and the hotly contested legislative races in the Chicagoland area with Dr. Chris Mooney, director of the University of Illinois' Institute of Government and Public Affairs. The final two segments of the show are devoted to a discussion of the positives and negatives of potentially moving Illinois from a flat income tax rate to a progressive income tax. Dan Lesser, a senior attorney and director of economic justice with the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law, argued for the switch to a progressive income tax. Diana Rickert, media relations director for the Illinois Policy Institute, argued against the potential move.
CCI Executive Director Bob Gilligan takes on the debate over increasing the minimum wage by talking with folks on both ends of the opinion spectrum. First, Kim Bobo, founder and executive director of Interfaith Worker Justice, talks about why we should increase the minimum wage from $8.25 here in Illinois. Then, Kim Clarke Maisch, Illinois director of the National Federation of Independent Businesses, discusses the down side of increasing the minimum wage. Next, Emily Zender, new executive director of Illinois Right to Life, discusses the recent $2 million settlement in the death of Tonya Reaves, the woman who died in 2012 from a botched abortion at a Chicago Planned Parenthood. CCI's own Zach Wichmann wraps up the show by telling listeners about legislation calling for $12.5 million for the Textbook Block Grant, which helps both public and private schools in paying for secular textbooks, instructional computer software and other learning materials.
CCI staffers Marilou Gervacio and Zach Wichmann join Bob to talk about the 2014 spring legislative session, which begins on Jan. 29 with the governor's State of the State address. Bob is then joined by Jerry Dykstra of Open Doors USA, an international Christian organization that supports persecuted Christians worldwide. The organization just came out with its annual World Watch List, which surveys the religious freedom of Christians around the world. To wrap up the show, University of Chicago law professor Mark Heyrman talks about the positive impact of Medicaid expansion to low-income, single adults in need of mental health care and treatment.
Mary Hallan-FioRito of the Archdiocese of Chicago kicked off the program by talking with Bob about the upcoming Chicago March for Life on Sun., Jan. 19. Cardinal George of the Archdiocese of Chicago will appear at the March, as will WLS radio host Dan Proft, Sheila Liaugminas of Relevant Radio and Congressman Dan Lipinksi. Bob then talked with Fr. Jack Wall, president of Catholic Extension, to discuss the organization's current "Extension Day" promotion. Next up, Todd Scribner of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops reminded listeners of the upcoming National Migration Week set for Jan. 5 – 11. To close out the show, Glenn van Cura, executive director of Catholic Charities of the Joliet diocese, joined Bob to promote the agency's Christmas programs for the needy.