Lansing Update
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CAN is an outreach of the Michigan Catholic Conference, the official public policy voice of the Catholic Church in Michigan
February 24, 2017

  In This Update:  
  • Income Tax Legislation Defeated in Michigan House
  • U.S. Bishops Respond to Memoranda on Immigration Enforcement and Border Security
  • The Word from Lansing Column: A Blueprint for the Common Good
  Income Tax Legislation Defeated in Michigan House  
Early on February 23, the Michigan House of Representatives narrowly defeated House Bill 4001, a measure to reduce the state's income tax. The amended legislation would have lowered the income tax from 4.25 percent to 3.9 percent by 2021, as long as the state's savings fund remained above $1 billion. The bill originally phased out the income tax completely by 2057, but changes to the bill in the House eliminated this provision. HB 4001 was defeated by a 52-55 vote. As mentioned in last week's Lansing Update, Michigan Catholic Conference was evaluating the bill, as staff examines each proposed tax policy to determine its impact on programs that provide basic necessities to Michigan's poorest citizens.
  U.S. Bishops Respond to Memoranda on Immigration Enforcement and Border Security  
Earlier this week, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security issued two memoranda to direct how President Trump's executive orders on border and interior immigration enforcement would be implemented. In response, the chair of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on Migration, Bishop Joe Vasquez of Austin, issued a statement urging the administration to reconsider its approach:
"We recognize the importance of ensuring public safety and would welcome reasonable and necessary steps to do that. However, the two memoranda issued by Secretary Kelly on February 20th contain a number of provisions that, if implemented as written, will harm public safety rather than enhance it. Moreover, taken in their entirety, the policies contained in these memoranda will needlessly separate families, upend peaceful communities, endanger the lives and safety of the most vulnerable among us, breakdown the trust that currently exists between many police departments and immigrant communities, and sow great fear in those communities."
To read the full statement, click here.
  The Word from Lansing Column: A Blueprint for the Common Good  
Before any law is made, it is beneficial to evaluate the policy's impact on individuals. Michigan Catholic Conference staff continually seek, while advocating the Church's position at the State Capitol in Lansing, the adoption of policies that defend the dignity of all and that serve Michigan's people well, especially the poorest and most vulnerable. In February's The Word from Lansing column, MCC President and CEO Paul Long discusses the Catholic Church's rich history in the public realm and outlines the organization's advocacy principles for the 2017-2018 legislative session.

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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,