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CAN is an outreach of the Michigan Catholic Conference, the official public policy voice of the Catholic Church in Michigan
June 16, 2017
 

  In This Update:  
 
  • Omnibus Budget Bills Return to Conference Committees
  • Governor Signs Bill Allowing Expert Testimony in Human Trafficking Cases
  • The Word from Lansing Column: Raising Awareness About the Dignity of Children
  • Legislation Addressing Prostitution Exemption for Law Enforcement Clears House Committee
  • FGM Package Headed Soon for Governor's Desk
  • Senate Approves Knights of Columbus Fundraising Plate With Wide Support
  • Health Policy Committee Sends MI-Post Legislation On to Full House
  • Michigan House of Representatives Widely Supports Opioid Package
 
  Omnibus Budget Bills Return to Conference Committees  
 

This week, after further discussions and agreements between legislative leaders and Governor Snyder, lawmakers will return to conference committees. There they will amend the 2017-2018 state proposed budget contained in House Bill 4323, sponsored by Representative Laura Cox (R-Livonia), and House Bill 4313, sponsored by Representative Tim Kelly (R-Saginaw). The conference committees, made up of senators and representatives, will work to approve a final legislative version of the proposal. MCC will continue to monitor the impact these changes have on items of interest and keep members apprised in a future update.

 
  Governor Signs Bill Allowing Expert Testimony in Human Trafficking Cases  
 

Under legislation sponsored by Representative Peter Lucido (R-Shelby Township), expert witness testimony on the behavioral pattern of human trafficking victims can now be submitted as evidence during a criminal trial. This week, Governor Snyder signed House Bill 4211 into law as Public Act 53 of 2017. This measure is a critical part of improving understanding around human trafficking cases for both the judge and jury, so that their decisions can take the impact of trauma into account. Michigan Catholic Conference is pleased to see HB 4211 become law and is thankful to the bill sponsor for his leadership.

 
  The Word from Lansing Column: Raising Awareness About the Dignity of Children  
 
All children have dignity, and the promotion of that dignity should be a critical priority in society. During the month of June, several days have been designated to raise awareness about threats to children, including the International Day of Innocent Child Victims of Aggression and the World Day Against Child Labor. In the last fifteen years, the Catholic Church has taken a leading role in efforts to protect young people and is continuing to take steps to improve safety in its institutions. In The Word from Lansing for June, Michigan Catholic Conference details more about this role and other legislative efforts to improve the situations of children and families.
 
  Legislation Addressing Prostitution Exemption for Law Enforcement Clears House Committee  
 

Michigan is the only U.S. state that still has a law granting on-duty police officers immunity from prosecution if they have had sex with a prostitute during an investigation. Local and state police say they do not use this tactic or include it in undercover training. The House Law and Justice Committee approved Senate Bill 275 and House Bill 4355 this week, which remove this immoral and unnecessary exemption. MCC supports these measures, which are sponsored by Senator Judy Emmons (R-Sheridan) and Representative Gary Glenn (R-Larkin Township) and await further House action.

 
  FGM Package Headed Soon for Governor's Desk  
 

The Senate Judiciary Committee and the full Senate unanimously supported several bills to prohibit female genital mutilation (FGM), or various degrees of painful cutting on female genital organs. House Bill 4639 and Senate Bill 410 revoke the medical license of a doctor found to have conducted the practice. House Bill 4642 requires educational materials to inform the public about FGM's public health risks and criminal penalties and to be disseminated to teachers and law enforcement. Other measures include those that prohibit FGM in state law and transporting a child for the practice, as well as lay out the penalties for those violations. The Legislature is continuing to move this bill package towards the governor's desk. Michigan Catholic Conference is thankful for the bipartisan support these measures have received in both chambers.

 
  Senate Approves Knights of Columbus Fundraising Plate With Wide Support  
 

This week, the Senate approved Senate Bill 354, a measure that allows for the creation of a Knights of Columbus fundraising license plate, by a 33-4 vote. The legislation, sponsored by Senator John Proos (R-St. Joseph), requires the Secretary of State to issue a special plate that is available for purchase, with $25 from each sale dispensed quarterly into a fund for the Knights of Columbus. MCC supports the bill, as the Knights of Columbus is a Catholic organization that provides a wide variety of services in local communities. The measure now continues to the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

 
  Health Policy Committee Sends MI-Post Legislation On to Full House  
 

This week, the House Health Policy Committee unanimously voted out a bill package which will create the Michigan Physician Orders for Scope of Treatment (MI-POST) program. MI-POST is designed to help health care professionals honor the treatment decisions of their seriously ill patients who are nearing the end of life. Through discussions with their health care provider, patient's wishes are voluntarily documented in medical orders. This allows certain decisions to be made prior to a crisis, to ensure that a patient's wishes regarding treatment or non-treatment will be known and followed. The bill package includes House Bill 4170, sponsored by Representative Jim Tedder (R-Clarkston), House Bill 4171, sponsored by Representative Laura Cox (R-Livonia), House Bill 4173, sponsored by Representative Hank Vaupel (R-Fowlerville), and House Bill 4174, sponsored by Representative Leslie Love (D-Oak Park). After ensuring necessary protections were included within the legislation, MCC supported the package, which now awaits consideration by the full House.

 
  Michigan House of Representatives Widely Supports Opioid Package  
 
The House of Representatives passed several bills this week with wide bipartisan support to fight opioid and prescription drug addiction. This package would, among other aspects, allow Medicaid to cover treatment costs for addiction recovery and detox, require parental consent for the first prescription of opioids for a minor, allow pharmacists to refuse to fill a prescription for a controlled substance if they have a belief that the prescription was not "written in good faith," and require education on opioid abuse for young people in schools. MCC is monitoring the legislation (HBs 4403, 4405-4408), sponsored by Representatives Andy Schor (D-Lansing), Kathy Crawford (R-Novi), Beth Griffin (R-Mattawan), and Joe Bellino (D-Monroe). The measures now await action in the Senate Health Policy Committee. Learn more about the Church's response to the opioid crisis, by reading the MCC's most recent FOCUS publication.
 
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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, publicpolicy@micatholic.org