March 7, 2014
Pope Francis has warned against a system where socio-economics breed disadvantage, stating that, “Today everything comes under the laws of competition and the survival of the fittest, where the powerful feed upon the powerless. As a consequence, masses of people find themselves excluded and marginalized: without work, without possibilities, without any means of escape”. (Evangelii Gaudium, 53) He has thus urged our society to prioritize “education, access to health care, and above all employment, for it is through free, creative, participatory and mutually supportive labor that human beings express and enhance the dignity of their lives.” (Evangelii Gaudium, 192)
House Bill 1324 would promote businesses to hire those most in need of a job, particularly in positions integrating science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Among the hiring pool deemed as “qualified” by this bill are the educationally disadvantaged, members of low-income families, teen parents, homeless, foster children and the formerly incarcerated. Thus, this bill promotes the employment of some of the most marginalized and traditionally economically disadvantaged persons in our workforce.
Pope Francis explains furthermore that “growth in justice requires more than economic growth, while presupposing such growth: it requires decisions, programs, mechanisms and processes” geared toward the “creation of sources of employment and an integral promotion of the poor”. (Evangelii Gaudium, 204). It is for these reasons that the Maryland Catholic Conference urges a favorable report on House Bill 1324.