Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Letters to the Editor

February 15, 2014

LETTERS FOR FEB. 15, 2014: Put a stop to Indiana House Bill 1036

I write informing readers about proposed legislation allowing government to regulate church outreach ministries in Indiana. Similar legislation, which would regulate activities and food served at church day care centers, was introduced last year by my own state Rep. Rebecca Kubacki.

Seeking to address my concerns about that 2013 bill, I arranged a meeting with Rep. Kubacki, with disappointing results. ... Thankfully, that bill was not passed by the Senate last year.

The legislation to regulate church day care centers has been submitted again this year as House Bill 1036. This bill has already passed the full House, with Rep. Kubacki’s vote, her support as co-author and with approval by the House committee she chairs.

Those supporting HB 1036 argue that since these church day care centers receive some government funding they should have their activities regulated by the state. However, these churches have not asked for subsidies from the government. Instead, many low-income families who qualify for vouchers from the state are choosing church day care centers for their children. The government money is tied to parental choice, and simply follows the child to the day care center. Moreover, these centers already comply with health and safety regulations.

I urge the Senate to not pass HB 1036, since it represents unnecessary government regulation of church outreach ministries.

— John B. Lowe II

executive assistant

New Life Christian Church

Warsaw

Pets can also be affected by secondhand smoke

February is Responsible Pet Owners Month, and while most of us are aware of the dangers of secondhand smoke to nonsmokers, recent studies have shown that secondhand smoke also poses a significant health threat to pets. Dogs are susceptible to lung and nasal cancer, while cats have been associated with oral cancer and lymphoma. Even birds are not immune to the dangers of secondhand smoke, as it has been known to cause pneumonia and lung cancer.

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Three Goshen elementary schools — Chandler, Chamberlain and West Goshen — are providing free meals to all students during the school year as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Community Eligibility Provision of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. Nearly 80 percent of students at Chandler, 89 percent of students at Chamberlain and 78 percent of students at West Goshen already qualify for free or reduced-price lunches based on their family income. How do you feel about the new lunch program?

I think it’s a good idea to feed all the students free of charge
I think those who can afford it should pay for their school meals
I think all students should be required to pay for their school meals
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