Aug 2009

Children’s clothing allowance an important back-to-school boost


Michigan Catholic Conference Vice President for Public Policy Paul Long and Michigan League for Human Services President and CEO Sharon Parks have co-authored a letter supporting current funding levels for the state’s clothing allowance program. The program, which is in jeopardy due to the state’s $2.8 billion budget deficit, helps the most needy children in Michigan afford clothing for the new school year. The piece has been distributed to newspapers across the state. View document…
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State Programs Assisting the Poor in Danger


Several elected officials are calling for a “shared pain” approach to balancing the state’s $2.8 billion budget deficit. MCC is urging opposition to this position as the state departments responsible for ensuring the health and safety of Michigan’s poor and vulnerable population have already suffered harmful budget cuts. It’s time to say “enough is enough.” Please take a few moments to contact your elected officials today and urge opposition to any approach that further harms those most in need. Visit web site…
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Third Annual Midwest Catholic Conference Education Meeting


The Third Annual Midwest Catholic Conference Education Meeting took place July 9-10, 2009 at the Michigan Catholic Conference offices in Lansing, Michigan.  In attendance were 23 participants, presenters and guests who discussed a wide range of topics including early childhood learning, charter schools, parental choice in education, special education and marketing strategies. Representing the Minnesota Catholic Conference was Pete Noll, Education Director. Catapult Learning, Mindstreams/A+ Educators, ACE Consulting at the University of Notre Dame and The Friedman Foundation sponsored events and provided participants with valuable updates on services and programs.
Anthony Picarello, USCCB General Counsel participated in the meeting via videoconference and provided information on recent court cases of interest to attendees.
The Friedman Foundation highlighted its promotion of school choice in general terms before focusing on the recent success of a tax scholarship program in Indiana.
The first such meeting was hosted by the Minnesota Catholic Conference in December 2006.  A planning committee has been formed to organize the summer 2010 meeting.

NASCCD Meets

The National Association of State Catholic Conference Directors (NASCCD) meets twice a year to discuss the challenges that Conferences face in state capitols throughout the country.  On July 26-28, 2009, the NASCCD met in Chicago, Illinois at the Archbishop Quigley Pastoral Center.  Over 40 states were represented, including Minnesota, with the Minnesota Catholic Conference represented by its Executive Director Christopher Leifeld.  Also in attendance by teleconference, was Nancy Wisdo, Associate General Secretary of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and USCCB staff.  Topics included state issues such as budget challenges and education, and federal issues including healthcare reform and immigration.  The next NASCCD meeting will be in Washington DC in December 2009.    
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Michigan CC: Don't Balance Budget on Backs of the Poor


On Wednesday, August 5, several statewide human service advocacy groups, including the Michigan Catholic Conference, conducted a press conference at the State Capitol urging the Legislature not to balance the state’s budget deficit on the backs of the poor. The message was included in a letter signed by 27 organizations calling for an end to the “shared pain” approach to balancing the $1.8 billion deficit. View document…
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