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2/3/2014 - February 2014 SLI Newsletter

                                                                                                                     February 2014

 Dear Friends and Supporters,

 We are well into the legislative session.  We have been asked to testify on several bills and provide drafting assistance.  Legislators know we are always available to assist them on importance issues.

One of the most important with which we are dealing this year is the bill related to the regulation of nonpublic schools.  As we earlier reported, there was an issue last summer with the State Department of Education’s attempted regulation of private and church nonpublic schools.  We continue to be optimistic that a bill can be drafted that will address all of the regulatory and constitutional issues to everyone’s satisfaction.  When we have something of substance, we will report on that.  If you have any questions, let us know.

This month’s Educational Update deals with the pro-life legislation in this year’s general session.  To date, the only sanctity of life bill to make progress is the Health Care Rights of Conscience Act.  It is an important step to protect healthcare providers in Alabama who might otherwise be required to participate in services that would violate their consciences. 

Last month’s Educational Update dealt with church policies and the homosexual issue.  One inquiry was about what policies churches should have concerning employment.  We expect to address that issue in more detail a little later.  Present law would protect churches and ministries, but we are waiting to see if there are any developments that might affect promulgation of an adequate policy.

 There has been a positive development on the Indian gambling issue.  In 2009, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Carcieri v. Salazar, that unless an Indian tribe was federally recognized in 1934, its land would not be, in effect, exempt so that it could be used for gambling.  The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals applied this to a tribe in California.  If our Circuit, the Eleventh, follows this, the Poarch Indians’ casinos can be closed down.  We will provide a more complete analysis later.

Thank you very much for your support.  Please continue to pray for our efforts and to assist us with your financial contributions.

                                                                                    Yours very truly,

                                                                                      A. Eric Johnston

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