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CAN is an outreach of the Michigan Catholic Conference, the official public policy voice of the Catholic Church in Michigan
January 20, 2017
 

  In This Update  
 
  • Register Now for From Darkness to Light: Human Trafficking and Our Response
  • Stand Up for Life This January
  • Vulnerable Adult Abuse, Sex Tourism, and Unemployment Fraud Bills Become Law
  • USCCB Calls on Congress to Preserve Gains in Healthcare Coverage; Protect Conscience Rights
  • Governor Snyder Presents 2017 State of the State Address
  • The Word from Lansing Column: 2017-A Time to Reflect, a Time to Take Action
  • Donald Trump Becomes 45th President of the United States
 
  Register Now for From Darkness to Light: Human Trafficking and Our Response  
 
While slavery is often studied in history classes, it is a growing crime that occurs today in Michigan and across the country. Pope Francis has called human trafficking, or modern-day slavery, "a crime against humanity," a crime that all must work to stop. On Saturday, February 11, 2017, individuals will have the opportunity to learn about human trafficking and what they can do about this issue at an all-day conference in Lansing: From Darkness to Light: Human Trafficking and Our Response. Breakfast and lunch are included with the $25 cost, and pre-registration is required at www.micatholic.org/fromdarknesstolight/.

To learn more about human trafficking in the meantime, read a recent Faith Magazine interview with Professor Bridgette Carr, founder of the University of Michigan Human Trafficking Law Clinic. Bridgette is one of the keynote speakers at the February 11 conference.
 
  Stand Up for Life This January  
 
One week from today, on Friday, January 27, hundreds of thousands of people will gather in Washington, D.C. for the March for Life. This annual event marks the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton which made abortion-on-demand legal throughout the United States. The March for Life is the largest pro-life event in the world and allows individuals from around the country to stand up for the dignity of unborn life. The theme of this year's march is "The Power of One." Another way to stand up for life is by participating in the 9 Days for Life, which begins Saturday, January 21, and ends on Sunday, January 29. The campaign offers daily prayers, suggested reflections, and practical actions for supporting the dignity of all human life.
 
  Vulnerable Adult Abuse, Sex Tourism, and Unemployment Fraud Bills Become Law  
 
Three bills that were supported by MCC during the 2015-2016 session recently were signed into law.
  • HB 5422 (now Public Act 480 of 2016) expands the definition of fourth degree vulnerable adult abuse to better protect these individuals from harm or injury.
  • HBs 5838-39 (now Public Acts 485-486 of 2016) penalizes the selling or offering of travel services for the purpose of engaging in prostitution or human trafficking.
  • HB 4982 (now Public Act 522 of 2016) changes the way the Unemployment Insurance Agency deals with potential fraud cases of unemployment benefits to resolve claims more quickly.
 
  USCCB Calls on Congress to Preserve Gains in Healthcare Coverage; Protect Conscience Rights  
 
Discussions are currently ongoing in the U.S. House and Senate about repealing the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA). This week, the U.S. bishops called upon members of both chambers to adopt concurrently a replacement plan, to ensure that millions of Americans will continue to have health care access. In a letter to Congress, the bishops spoke about the importance of access for low-income individuals in any replacement plan, as well as safeguards for human life and conscience rights.
 
"Every person is made in the image of God and possesses inherent dignity. A just community strives to see and address the needs of those who struggle on its margins, and each segment of society is called to build toward a common good that creates and maintains conditions aimed at true human flourishing. In our country's policies toward that end, we must not see health care as a luxury, but as a necessary building block to help individuals and families thrive."
 
  Governor Snyder Presents 2017 State of the State Address  
  On Tuesday, January 17, 2017, Governor Rick Snyder gave his annual State of the State Address, which highlighted recent achievements and his vision for Michigan's future. The governor spoke about improving the state's infrastructure, as well as attracting new residents to bring the state's population to 10 million people by 2020. Governor Snyder also spoke about the Healthy Michigan Medicaid expansion plan. This plan was adopted by the Legislature in 2013, subsequent to the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and the governor noted how the plan has increased primary and preventative care visits for the previously uninsured. It is unclear what will happen to the program if the Affordable Car Act is repealed. MCC and Catholic health care systems supported the Healthy Michigan program in 2013, calling for it to provide health care access for those in need and to respect the life and conscience of every person. The State of the State Address can be watched or read online on the governor's website.  
  The Word from Lansing Column: 2017-A Time to Reflect, a Time to Take Action  
  During the recent legislative session, Michigan lawmakers approved conscience protections for faith-based child placement agencies, provided support to nonpublic schools for the cost of health, safety, and welfare mandates required by the State, prohibited abortion coercion, and passed additional state energy assistance to help Michigan individuals and families, among other measures. MCC's The Word from Lansing column for January highlights several public policy successes from the 2015-2016 legislative session, as well as the importance of continued engagement and action in the coming session.  
  Donald Trump Becomes 45th President of the United States  
  On Friday, January 20, Donald Trump was inaugurated as the 45th president of the United States. Vice President Mike Pence took his oath of office from Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, and President Donald Trump took his oath of office from Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts. To learn more about the 2017 Presidential Inauguration, click here.  
   
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Be sure to visit our website at www.micatholic.org
Michigan Catholic Conference, 510 South Capitol Avenue, Lansing, Michigan 48933 Michigan Catholic Conference: The Official Public Policy Voice of the Catholic Church in Michigan Phone: (517) 372-9310, Fax: (517) 372-3940, publicpolicy@micatholic.org