Share this story

 | Staff Report

Public Policy Priorities

The Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops has released a list of top issues for 2023 Regular Session of the Florida Legislature.

January 9, 2023 | The Regular Session of the Florida Legislature is scheduled for March 7-May 5. Below is a list of the top priorities of the Florida bishop according to the Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops. This organization serves as liaison to state government on matters of concern to the Catholic Church in the seven dioceses of the Province of Miami, as a nonpartisan public policy voice on behalf of the Catholic Bishops of Florida.

Key issues are identified under the advocacy areas of life, education, health care, and family and social concerns.


The true moral test of society is how the weakest and most vulnerable members are treated. If the inalienable right to life of the unborn is not protected, the human family will make little progress with other issues relating to life and dignity, including the death penalty, euthanasia, poverty, and immigration.

  • Limiting the harm of abortion to the greatest extent possible*

  •  Reducing the demand for abortion by strengthening the social structures that support pregnant women and families, including the Florida Pregnancy Care Network

  • Ensuring sufficient enforcement of current abortion regulations

  • Restricting the use of the death penalty by exempting people with serious mental illness from being sentenced to death

  • Preserving the unanimous jury requirement to impose a death sentence

* When it is not possible to overturn or repeal a pro-abortion law, “proposals aimed at limiting the harm done by such a law” are legitimate and proper (St. John Paul II, Evangelium Vitae, no. 73).


The Church supports the rights of parents to select the schools they deem best suited for their children. There is a special emphasis on ensuring that poor and disabled students receive federal and state services necessary to achieve academically and socially.

  • Ensuring that students in all settings – whether public, charter, private, or home school – receive a high-quality education

  • Expanding access and flexibility to the Family Empowerment and Florida Tax Credit Scholarships including converting the scholarships to educational savings accounts and eliminating enrollment caps

  • Increasing security of all schools

  • Ensuring families with young children have sufficient resources and educational options for early childhood education

  • Enhancing parental rights in education and promoting opportunities for human flourishing rooted in the truth, goodness, and beauty of the person and the family


As a basic human right necessary for a healthy and just society, the Church supports ensuring accessible, quality health care for all. Health delivery systems must be rooted in values that respect life, acknowledge human dignity, and respond to the needs of the poor and vulnerable.

  • Strengthening health care conscience protections for providers and payors

  • Ensuring access to health care, including mental health services, for the most economically and socially vulnerable residents of Florida

  • Promoting ethical care across the spectrum of life, no matter the stage or condition

  • Opposing any efforts to overturn Florida’s ban on physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia, while supporting palliative and hospice care that respects the dignity of the person

  • Promoting policies that enhance the stewardship and care of Florida’s natural environment


As the family goes, so goes the nation and so goes the world. Every person has a fundamental right to life and to that which is required for human decency. Corresponding to these rights are duties and responsibilities to one another, our families, and society.

  • Ensuring the freedom of all people to serve in accord with deeply held moral or religious convictions concerning sanctity of life, marriage, and human anthropology

  • Defeating human trafficking by combating sexual exploitation and the demand for forced labor

  • Protecting the poor and vulnerable from the traps of debt and offering alternatives to license suspension for those who demonstrate an inability to pay traffic citation fees

  • Utilizing Sadowski and general revenue funds to address the shortage of affordable housing

  • Improving conditions in state prisons and enacting sentencing reforms so that just punishments have a restorative purpose and further protect society

  • Calling on Congress to pass federal multifaceted immigration reform

 To learn more, click here.