Michigan

Lansing Update

March 18, 2011

The current issue of Lansing Update has been posted to the Michigan Catholic Conference Web site at:

http://www.micatholicconference.org/public-policy/publications/lansing-update/


In This Issue:

1.  MCC Testifies Against Welfare Reform Legislation

2.  MCC to Testify in Support of EITC Next Week

Catholic Conference Urges House Committee to Abdicate Welfare Reform Efforts

(Lansing) – Citing statistics from the Department of Human Services (DHS), Michigan Catholic Conference Vice President for Public Policy Tom Hickson today urged the House Families, Children and Seniors Committee to abdicate plans to pursue increased penalties and lifetime limits within the DHS Family Independence Program, which provides state financial assistance to families with children. Hickson also included in his testimony alternative suggestions for committee members if they were adamant about pursuing welfare reform.

“According to the Department of Human Services, for 2009, out of an average monthly caseload of 65,925 there were only 531 cases of noncompliance, which is significantly less than one percent,” Hickson stated in his testimony. “Because the law came into effect so recently (enacted in 2006), we believe time needs to be taken to more fully evaluate its impact, and that the sunset should be extended with the current criteria.  The current law is working and working very well.”

Legislation before the House Families, Children and Seniors Committee this morning, House Bills 4409 and 4410, would:  
  • Institute a 48-month hard deadline for public assistance;
  • Remove the exemption on participation in the DHS Jobs, Education and Training (JET) program for counties which have substantially higher unemployment than the rest of the state; and
  • Amend the penalty for a third occasion of noncompliance from a one year prohibition to a lifetime ban.

While urging the committee to dismiss the legislation, Hickson then urged members to consider the following:
  • Instituting a 48-month hard deadline for public assistance will quickly cut the lifeline of over 12,000 of the state’s neediest citizens. Hickson testified to this point: “While I assume we agree that the goal of this committee and this state should be to prevent permanent reliance on public assistance, the fact remains that not everyone in Michigan’s cyclical economy has the ability or skill set to find a job immediately.  We must continue to ensure that our state is working to provide the tools necessary for people to receive training and assistance in order to move from dependence to independence. Simply turning our backs is to ignore the moral imperative to recognize the neediest among us.”
  • “Removing the exemption on participation in the JET program for counties which have substantially higher unemployment than the rest of the state makes little sense,” said Hickson.  “The poorest county in Michigan, for example, Lake County, has well over a majority of its land within public ownership. Where is a business going to locate?  Where are jobs going to be created?”
  • In the area of noncompliance, a lifetime ban on public assistance for a third violation is unfairly punitive, according to Hickson, who urged the committee to retain the current penalty structure, which also counts against the 48-month timeframe – essentially a double penalty. “For example, if you have someone who has had a history of noncompliance, then turns their life around, is gainfully employed, let’s say at a new battery plant for the next 10 years, what happens to that individual if that industry has a collapse,” Hickson asked the committee. “Safeguards need to be in place to recognize the cyclical nature of our economy.”

In delivering the Conference’s opposition to current welfare reform efforts, Hickson also provided suggestions to the committee if it were to continue to pursue reform.  Those suggestions included:
  • Greater enforcement or better data controls at the Department of Human Services.  Hickson suggested the committee look to previous legislation sponsored by former Senator Cameron Brown that created greater enforcement for those claiming double homestead exemptions.
  • Look at increasing the income disregard to truly allow individuals to get on their feet and increase their financial standing. “That, combined with a retained EITC, would be a potent poverty fighter,” Hickson said.

Prior to delivering his testimony, Hickson explained to the committee that the Conference believes the state budget is a moral document, one which demonstrates the highest priorities for the state, and that the first budgetary priority should be to protect Michigan’s poor and vulnerable citizens.  

There was no vote on the welfare reform legislation before today’s committee.

Lansing Update

The current issue of Lansing Update has been posted to the Michigan Catholic Conference Web site at:

http://www.micatholicconference.org/public-policy/publications/lansing-update/


In This Issue:

1.  Legislation Banning Partial Birth Abortion Moves to Full Senate

2.  Polling Indicates High Public Support for Preserving EITC

Catholic Conference Supports Renewed Effort to Ban Partial-Birth Abortion in State Law


(Lansing) – Michigan Catholic Conference released the following comments from President/CEO Paul A. Long regarding Senate Bill 160, legislation which passed the Senate Judiciary Committee today that would ban partial-birth abortion in this state:

“There are few practices known to mankind that are more gruesome and deplorable than that known as partial-birth abortion, where a viable child is partially delivered from his or her mother before an abortionist kills the child by puncturing the skull with a pair of scissors.  The fact that there is opposition to banning this heinous practice speaks to the injustice unborn children face every day.  Considering Senate Bill 160 mirrors the federal partial-birth abortion ban found constitutional in 2007 by the United States Supreme Court in Gonzales v. Carhart, there should be no reason to question the legality of this widely-supported measure.  

“Pew Research Center surveys have found that upwards of 75 percent of the general public support keeping partial-birth abortion illegal.  According to Pew: ‘Even among those who say abortion should be legal in all cases, almost half (49%) believe that partial-birth abortion procedures should be illegal. Overall, only 17% of Americans say that partial-birth abortion should be legal.’ Unfortunately, partial-birth abortion is legal in Michigan due to court challenges and executive vetoes. It is time for this injustice to end!

“It is the hope of the Michigan Catholic Conference that Senate Bill 160 sails through the Legislature, as similar measures have done on four separate occasions over the last 15 years, and is signed into law by Governor Snyder.”

Lansing Update

Legislation to Eliminate Tax Credit for Working Poor Introduced; Advocacy Priorities Released for 2011-12 Legislative Session; Pro-Life Bills Introduced in New Legislative Session; Governor Snyder to Present Executive Budget Proposal Next Week. Continue reading…

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Preserve EITC

In order to continue moving low-income workers out of poverty, to encourage work and to address the high number of poor children living in this state, Michigan Catholic Conference looks forward to working with members on both sides of the aisle to preserve and protect the state Earned Income Tax Credit. Continue reading…

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Preserve EITC

In The Detroit News, MCC President and CEO Paul A. Long states that preserving the state Earned Income Tax Credit will help to improve Michigan's economic picture by continuing to lift low-income families and children out of poverty. Continue reading…

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Tom Hickson Joins MCC as Vice President for Public Policy




(Lansing)Michigan Catholic Conference announced today that Tom Hickson has joined the organization as Vice President for Public Policy, effective January 31. Hickson’s primary role will be to act as the chief liaison between state government and the Catholic Church in Michigan.

“Tom has established himself on both sides of the aisle as one of the premier legislative advocates in this state, and we are very pleased he has chosen to bring his many talents and extensive experience in state government to our organization,” said Paul A. Long, MCC President and Chief Executive Officer.  

Prior to joining the Conference Hickson was Director of Legislative Affairs for the Michigan Association of Counties, where he was responsible for coordinating legislative strategies to advance that organization’s policy agenda.  Tom has also served as legislative liaison for the Department of Environmental Quality, as assistant legislative liaison for the Department of Natural Resources, and as a policy advisor in the Michigan House of Representatives.  He has also served as a legislative assistant to former State Representative Andrew Richner and as constituent relations assistant to former State Senator Jon Cisky.  

In 2009 Hickson finished second in a MIRS News Insider Survey that ranked the state’s most influential lobbyists. He fills the vice president position left vacant by Paul Long, who in September 2010 was appointed by the MCC Board of Directors to succeed Sister Monica Kostielney as President and Chief Executive Officer.  Tom is a 1996 graduate of Albion College, having earned duel bachelor degrees in Economics and Management and Political Science.

Michigan Catholic Conference is the official public policy voice of the Catholic Church in this state.  Founded in 1963, the Conference presents to state government its positions on a wide range of issues that seek to advance the common good, including education, economic justice, human life, restorative justice, religious freedom and policies that impact children and families.

Selection of Justice Corrigan as DHS Director ‘Commendable’ Says MCC

Michigan Catholic Conference today released the following statement regarding the appointment of Michigan Supreme Court Justice Maura Corrigan as director of the Michigan Department of Human Services. Continue reading…

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Lansing Update

2009–2010 Legislative Session Ends This Week; Action Alert! Support Needed for DREAM Act. Continue reading…

State Catholic Conferences Support Bp. Herzog's Call to Engage Social Media

State Catholic conferences that utilize Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms are strongly supporting Bishop Ronald Herzog’s speech to the USCCB annual gathering this week on the need for the Church to engage further in social media. According to Bishop Herzog, the Catholic Church must begin to adapt to social media platforms, otherwise she risks incurring a third millennium digital version of the Protestant Reformation. 
 
“Twitter, Facebook and YouTube are just a few of the more popular social networking sites that state Catholic conferences are utilizing to share with Catholics what is taking place in the public square,” says Dave Maluchnik, director of communications for the Michigan Catholic Conference. “As technology fields continue to grow and expand, communication mediums such as social networking help the laity become more involved in legislative advocacy. By engaging Catholics through social media platforms, we believe we can be of service to our bishops in their role as teachers and shepherds.”
 
State Catholic conferences have been in existence in their current form since the early 1960s and present their respective bishops’ positions on matters of public policy to state government and the state’s congressional delegation. Catholic conferences exist in approximately 38 states, a handful of which employ communication directors that have been actively involved with social media in their profession. States such as California, Maryland, New York, Florida, Texas and others use Facebook to share legislative developments and opportunities to become more involved in the democratic process with their followers.
 
“Over the last year, Facebook and Twitter have become integral to our advocacy,” said New York State Catholic Conference communications director Dennis Poust. “Email is quickly becoming an afterthought for online communications, particularly among the young. We need to reach people where they are, and that’s on social networking sites. We’ve established a thriving community on Facebook, and it really helps us to keep our fingers on the pulse of the Catholics in the pews.”
Catholic conference staff members use the social media site Twitter to share news and positions on legislative issues with those who follow the organization. Twitter allows its users to broadcast messages in 140 characters or less, which is ample space for seasoned communication professionals to provide pithy, informed quotes to members of the news media who may also follow the organization. Missouri, Michigan, Texas, Maryland, and North Dakota are just a few of the state Catholic conferences that can be found “tweeting.”
“We’ve found Twitter to be an excellent resource for making our position known to a large number of people without having to dedicate an inordinate amount of staff time to the exercise,” says Kathy Dempsey, director of communications for the Maryland Catholic Conference. “Twitter also provides an opportunity to link to web pages, YouTube clips or other media where additional, more detailed information can be conveyed to Catholics, their friends and families.”
Young people are no longer relying on traditional email accounts for news or to converse electronically with their peers, Bishop Herzog noted in his 16 November speech. According to Bishop Herzog, a member of the USCCB communications committee: “The news, entertainment, their friends—are all coming to them through their mobile devices and through their social networks. If the church is not on their mobile device, it doesn’t exist. The Church does not have to change its teachings to reach young people, but we must deliver it to them in a new way.”
“Social media is directly integrated into our mission of serving as the bishops’ public policy arm,” says Maria Huemmer, communications director for the Texas Catholic Conference, which also tweets in Spanish at
@TXcatolica. “We welcome social media as a new method of informing Catholics about the legislative priorities of our bishops and helping Catholics continue to form their consciences and to act as faithful citizens on issues that concern our state and our nation.”
Editor’s Note: State Catholic Conferences can be found on Twitter by following @MiCatholicConf @TXCatholic @NYSCatholicConf @mdcathcon @ndcatholic @IACatholicConf @mocatholic @VaCatholicConf
 
State Catholic Conferences that can be found on Facebook include California, Maryland, New York, Texas, Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Virginia and North Dakota.

Election Information

MCC Continues to Make 2010 Election Information Available. Continue reading…

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Highest Papal Award Granted to Sister Monica Kostielney, R.S.M.

Lansing) – Sister Monica Kostielney, R.S.M., President and Chief Executive Officer of the Michigan Catholic Conference, has been awarded the Holy Cross Pro-Ecclesia et Pontifice (For Church and Pontiff) medal by Pope Benedict XVI.

The papal award was presented to Sister Monica September 8, 2010 at the Michigan Catholic Conference location in downtown Lansing, from which she will retire in November. The medal was instituted by Pope Leo XIII in 1888 and is now bestowed upon lay persons and clergy who, according to the Catholic Encyclopedia, “deserve well of the pope on account of services done for the Church and its head.”  Saints Peter and Paul are engraved on the front of the medal while the Coat of Arms of the Holy See and of the State of Vatican City is engraved on the back. The medal’s ribbon is white and yellow, the colors of the flag of the Holy See.

Most Reverend Earl Boyea, bishop of the Diocese of Lansing, recommended Sister Monica for the papal award.

“Sister Monica has been an exemplary leader of the MCC, has worked extraordinarily well with the Bishops of the State of Michigan, and is completely dedicated to the Catholic Church and especially to Her social teachings,” says Bishop Boyea.  “If Sister Monica had completed only one-tenth of all that she has done over these many years, she would have deserved this papal award.  We are so indebted to her for her love and service.”

Sister Monica will retire from the Michigan Catholic Conference as President and Chief Executive Officer on November 15 after 38 years of service.  Beginning her tenure as a Public Affairs Assistant for Education, Sister Monica became Executive Vice President for Public Affairs in 1983 before being named President/CEO in 1994.  Sister Monica, a native of Detroit, received both her bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in English and Medieval Studies from the University of Detroit.  

In 1999, Sister Monica received an Honorary Doctor of Law degree from Sacred Heart Major Seminary for providing “outstanding leadership in the defeat of the referendum (Proposal B) on physician-assisted suicide,” and the Saint Thomas More Award from the Catholic Lawyers Guild of the Diocese of Lansing in 1997 for “tireless efforts to influence legislation that promotes sound public policy, respect for the human person, and the common good.”  

Throughout her career Sister Monica has served both the local and the national church on matters related to Catholic education, law, human development and health care.  She is a past member of Catholic Charities USA Social Policy Committee, past president and treasurer/secretary of the National Association of State Catholic Conference Directors, and current member of the National Diocesan Attorneys’ Association.

Protect Michigan's Constitution

MCC Board of Directors has taken a position to oppose Proposal 1, a question on the November ballot that will ask voters if Michigan should convene a constitutional convention in 2011. This Focus publication provides questions and answers about a “con-con” and explains why the ballot question should be opposed by voters. Continue reading…

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Paul Long Named President and CEO of MCC

Michigan Catholic Conference Board of Directors unanimously voted today to name MCC Vice President for Public Policy Paul A. Long as the Conference’s next President and Chief Executive Officer. Long succeeds Sister Monica Kostielney, RSM, who is retiring in November after 38 years of service to the Conference, the last 16 as President/CEO. Continue reading…
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Lansing Update

2009–2010, 2010–2011 State Budget Update. Continue reading…

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“Mimicking Arizona as Michigan Burns”

The Detroit Free Press on May 17 opined against proposed Michigan immigration legislation similar to that which passed in Arizona recently. Continue reading…

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August 3 Primary Results from the Michigan Department of State

Returns for the office of Governor, State Senate and House of Representative districts, as well as judicial seats may be found here. Continue reading…

Vote No on Proposal 1

Michigan Catholic Conference is a member of the ballot question committee Citizens Protecting Michigan’s Constitution, which is working to oppose Proposal 1 of 2010. Prop 1 will ask Michigan voters at the November general election if the state should conduct a constitutional convention in 2011. Continue reading…

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Lansing Update

July 2, 2010

The current issue of Lansing Update has been posted to the Michigan Catholic Conference Web site at:

http://www.micatholicconference.org/public-policy/publications/lansing-update/

1.  Enhanced Support for Non-Public Schools Highlight Budget Week

2.  State of Michigan Budget Woes Continue as State Awaits Fed Action

A Call to Conscience

The arch/bishops' statement, A Call to Conscience: Faithful Citizenship and the Common Good, reminds Catholics of their moral obligation to participate in the democratic process, to form their consciences based on Scripture and Catholic Social Teaching, and to evaluate candidates through the lens of faith. Continue reading…

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Lansing Update

The current issue of Lansing Update has been posted to the Michigan Catholic Conference Web site at:

http://www.micatholicconference.org/public-policy/publications/lansing-update/


1. DCH Budget Off to Conference While Human Embryo Research Holds Up Higher Ed Spending

 House Judiciary Committee Takes Testimony on Statute of Limitations Bill

The current issue of Lansing Update has been posted to the Michigan Catholic Conference Web site at:

http://www.micatholicconference.org/public-policy/publications/lansing-update/


1.  House Judiciary Committee Takes Testimony on Statute of Limitations Bill

Questions and Answers on Statute of Limitations Bill

Legislation has been scheduled for a hearing in the House Judiciary Committee for Wednesday, April 28 that would amend the state’s statute of limitations on child sexual abuse. Questions and answers are provided here regarding House Bill 5699, its impact on religious and non-public institutions, and addresses the fact that the bill fails to include all sectors of society by not including government institutions. Continue reading…
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The current issue of Lansing Update

The current issue of Lansing Update has been posted to the Michigan Catholic Conference Web site at:

http://www.micatholicconference.org/public-policy/publications/lansing-update/


1.  Senate Passes Human Embryo Research Transparency Bills

MCC Praises Senate for Passing Human Embryo Research Transparency Legislation

(Lansing) – The following statement was released today by Paul A. Long, Michigan Catholic Conference Vice President for Public Policy, after the State Senate passed with bipartisan support Senate Bills 647-652, legislation that seeks to ensure human embryo research is conducted with transparency and accountability in Michigan:

"While human embryo experimentation represents a direct attack on human life itself, the fact that voters approved Proposal 2 in 2008 should not prevent the Legislature from passing common sense provisions that penalize those who operate outside of the law. The passage of the 2008 ballot measure did nothing to ensure transparency or accountability in human embryo research, and may very well have opened the door for illegal research to be conducted by unscrupulous individuals seeking profit from suffering patients. Senate Bills 647-652 ensures those who conduct human embryo research in this state, either within public institutions or at private companies, are doing so in a legal and transparent manner.

"Additional provisions of the legislative package – that which call for simple reporting requirements, ensuring informed consent is obtained in IVF clinics, banning the creation of human-animal chimeric embryos, and upholding the intent of Michigan’s cloning ban by prohibiting the trafficking of cloned human embryos into the state - are common-sense measures that deserve further support. Michigan Catholic Conference applauds the Senate for its vote today, and encourages the House of Representatives to follow suit by passing Senate Bills 647-652 in a timely fashion."

Statement on Ad Campaign Attacking Congressman Bart Stupak

MCC released the following statement in regard to a television advertising campaign that misrepresents the Catholic Church’s position on health care reform, and attacks Congressman Bart Stupak for his efforts to prohibit taxpayer funded abortion in the current health care reform debate. Read press release…
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Lansing Update

The current issue of Lansing Update has been posted to the Michigan Catholic Conference Web site at:

http://www.micatholicconference.org/public_policy/publications/lansing_update/

1.  Senate Panel Restores Tuition Grant, Addresses Human Embryo Research

2.  Community Health Budget Moves With Medicaid Cuts  

On the Retirement of President/CEO Sister Monica Kostielney, RSM


After having served the Michigan Catholic Conference for over thirty-five years, the last sixteen as President and Chief Executive Officer, the Conference today announced that the retirement of Sister Monica Kostielney, R.S.M., has been accepted by the organization’s Board of Directors. Read press release…
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Health Care as a Basic Right


This edition of FOCUS seeks to advance the Church’s support for universal health care, to detail what policy positions must be included in any effort to reform the nation’s health care delivery system, and to provide additional resources for Catholics to learn more about this critical, and morally relevant public policy. View document…
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Lansing Update

The current issue of Lansing Update has been posted to the Michigan Catholic Conference Web site at:

http://www.micatholicconference.org/public_policy/publications/lansing_update/

1.  Governor Details 2010–11 Budget Recommendations Amidst $1.7 Billion Deficit

2.  "Body Parts" Bill Moves on to Full Senate    

Lansing Update

The current issue of Lansing Update has been posted to the Michigan Catholic Conference Web site at:

http://www.micatholicconference.org/public_policy/publications/lansing_update/

1.  Senate Committee Moves Embryo Research Transparency Bills

2.  Senate Republicans Eye Medicaid Cuts in Plan to Reform State Government  

Statement on Passage of Human Embryo Research Legislation

MCC offered the following statement after the Senate Health Policy Committee voted in a bipartisan fashion to move legislation that addresses transparency in human embryo research. Read press release…
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The current issue of Lansing Update

The current issue of Lansing Update has been posted to the Michigan Catholic Conference Web site at:

http://www.micatholicconference.org/public_policy/publications/lansing_update/

1.  Workplace Smoking Ban to Go in Effect May 2010

2.  Church to Continue Pursuit of Health Care Reform Legislation

3.  Catholic Conference Urges Support for Statewide Public Defender System

4.  Education Reforms Fly as Legislature Focuses on Federal Race to the Top Funding  

Protect the Earned Income Tax Credit for the Poor, Says MCC

The Detroit News’ Faith and Policy column, Michigan Catholic Conference Vice President for Public Policy Paul A. Long calls for the Legislature to abandon efforts to halt or scale back the Michigan Earned Income Tax Credit, which was signed into law in 2006 with broad bipartisan support. The Conference has long supported the tax credit due to the benefits it provides the working poor of the state. View document…
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State of Michigan Budget Update

On Friday, October 30, Governor Granholm signed the remaining departmental budgets that finalize spending for the fiscal year that began on October 1. Michigan had been operating on a one month continuation budget since the beginning of October as legislators and the administration attempted to work out differences between revenues and shortfalls.
The budgets signed by the governor protect programs advocated for by the Michigan Catholic Conference, including the Michigan Tuition Grant program, and the children’s clothing allowance and Family Independence Grant in the Department of Human Services.
The Michigan Legislature must now turn its focus to next year’s budget which, according to estimates, already has a $1.2 billion deficit.
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The current issue of Lansing Update

The current issue of Lansing Update has been posted to the Michigan Catholic Conference Web site at:

http://www.micatholicconference.org/public_policy/publications/lansing_update/

1.  Senate Passes EITC Legislation, Efforts to Finalize 2009 State Budget Continue

2.  MCC Statement on Appointment of Bishop-Elect Hebda to Diocese of Gaylord

Legislature Praised for Maintaining Funding for FIP grant

Michigan Catholic Conference Vice President for Public Policy Paul A. Long made the following statement Sept. 29 after the Legislature approved the conference report for the Department of Human Services budget, which maintains funding for the Family Independence Program and the children’s clothing allowance program. Read press release…
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Lansing Update

The current issue of Lansing Update has been posted to the Michigan Catholic Conference Web site at:

http://www.micatholicconference.org/public_policy/publications/lansing_update/

1.  Multiple Budget Scenarios Arise After House Speaker, Senate Majority Leader Strike Target Agreement

“2009 State of Michigan Budget Countdown”

Michigan is currently facing a $2.7 billion budget deficit for the fiscal year that begins October 1. Should legislative leaders fail to compromise on a solution, the state will be forced to discontinue services and shut down until revenues are agreed upon. MCC, whose position on the budget can be read here, will be posting daily updates on its Twitter page and list updated news reports below. Please take a moment to contact your State Representative and Senator through the Action Alert below, and urge them to fund services that protect Michigan’s poor and vulnerable population.

Lansing Update

The current issue of Lansing Update has been posted to the Michigan Catholic Conference Web site at:

http://www.micatholicconference.org/public_policy/publications/lansing_update/

1.  $2.7 Billion Budget Deficit Remains as September 30 Deadline Looms

2.  MCC Board of Directors Statement on State of Michigan Budget

3.  MCC Board of Directors Says No to 2010 Constitutional Convention

4.  Legislation Prohibiting Conscience Rights for Pharmacies Passes Committee

5.  Follow Us on Twitter @MiCatholicConf

Poverty in Michigan


While legislative leaders seek to diminish further Michigan’s social safety net in an effort to balance the state’s $2.8 billion deficit, the Michigan Catholic Conference Board of Directors today approved a statement calling for solidarity with the state’s poorest citizens and urges legislators to enact a budget that protects essential needs. Read press release…
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MCC Calls for a Constitutional Convention

Michigan Catholic Conference has approved a statement that does not support the call for a constitutional convention in 2010. Michigan voters at the November 2010 general election ballot will decide whether or not the state will conduct a constitutional convention in 2011. Article 12, Section 3 of the 1963 Michigan Constitution calls for a vote of the people every 16 years to determine if delegates appointed from each House and Senate district should rewrite the state’s guiding document. Read press release…
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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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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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Church Fights to Keep Tax Credit for the Poor

This week House Republicans introduced a plan to balance the state’s $1.7 billion deficit, which includes halting the full implementation of the state’s Earned Income Tax Credit. For several years MCC fought for the creation of this policy in an effort to lower the disproportionate tax burden on the working poor. More information about the EITC can be found in Anderson Economic Group’s “A Hand Up for Michigan Workers” 2008 report below. Visit website…
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MCC Criticizes Congresswoman Kilpatrick’s Vote to Support Public Funding of Abortion in D.C

“Considering the abortion business’s own research indicates that public funding more than doubles the number of abortions, it is challenging to recognize Congresswoman Kilpatrick’s vote as anything but a nod to the abortion industry,” said the Conference. Read press release…