Friday, March 13, 2009

Connecticut Bill to Change Catholic Church Governance Dies But Supporters Not Deterred

The Hartford Courant reports that members of the Catholic Church in Connecticut sought state legislation that would have given lay councils control over parish finances, relegating Catholic priests and bishops to advisory roles.  Not surprisingly, the chairman of the legislature's judiciary committee pulled the bill earlier this week because of constitutional concerns, but its supporters vowed to continue to push the measure even as thousands of opponents to the bill held a rally at the state capital.  While serious constitutional issues are raised by such legislation, this effort does raise the interesting possibility that stakeholders in charities could try to use state laws to force governance changes including by, for example, conditioning benefits such as property tax exemption on meeting certain governance requirements. 

LHM

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/nonprofit/2009/03/connecticut-bil.html

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