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CAN is an outreach of the Michigan Catholic Conference, the official public policy voice of the Catholic Church in Michigan
September 29, 2017
 

  In This Update:  
 
  • Pope Francis Calls for Catholics to Participate in "Share The Journey" Campaign
  • State Resolution Urges Federal Action on Immigration Reform, Passes House Committee
  • Bill Expanding Dual Enrollment Opportunities Passes House Committee
  • Prohibition on Local Excise Taxes on Food Receives Consideration in Committees
 
  Pope Francis Calls for Catholics to Participate in "Share The Journey" Campaign  
 
This week, Pope Francis launched a worldwide, two-year campaign aimed at raising awareness of the plight of migrants and refugees. The campaign is co-sponsored by the global Caritas network, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), Catholic Relief Services (CRS), and Catholic Charities USA (CCUSA). Pope Francis kicked off "Share the Journey" at the Vatican today, urging Catholics to meet migrants and refugees. Those displaced from their homes now number around 65 million around the world, the largest refugee crisis since World War II. The launch of the campaign will be followed by a week of prayer and action for migrants and refugees in Catholic churches and parishes from October 7 to October 14. To learn more about the "Share the Journey" effort, visit www.sharejourney.org. (Photo by Catholic News Service)
 
  State Resolution Urges Federal Action on Immigration Reform, Passes House Committee  
 
House Concurrent Resolution 15, sponsored by Representative Jim Lilly (R-Park Township), urges the U.S. Congress to take action on bipartisan, comprehensive immigration reform. As mentioned in last week's Lansing Update, a resolution is nonbinding and can only encourage action, but it sends a clear message that discussion is needed on this important issue for Michigan and for the country as a whole. Michigan Catholic Conference supported the measure in the House Michigan Competitiveness Committee, which passed unanimously with bipartisan support. Read more about the Catholic Church's teaching on immigration reform.
 
  Bill Expanding Dual Enrollment Opportunities Passes House Committee  
 
Through dual enrollment, public and nonpublic school students may enroll in college or university classes while they are still in high school. The upcoming state budget for October 2017-September 2018, which passed the Legislature earlier this year, included a provision that allows public school students in districts that border another state to dual enroll at a postsecondary institution in that state. The college or university must be located within twenty miles of the Michigan border. Under House Bill 4735, sponsored by Representative Aaron Miller (R-Sturgis), nonpublic school students would also be allowed to take advantage of this opportunity. Michigan Catholic Conference supports the measure, which passed the House Committee on Education Reform this week.
 
  Prohibition on Local Excise Taxes on Food Receives Consideration in Committees  
 
This week, both the Senate and House Competitiveness Committees considered legislation concerning local excise taxes for food. Senate Bill 583, sponsored by Senator Peter MacGregor (R-Rockford), and House Bill 4999, sponsored by Representative Rob VerHeulen (R-Walker), would prevent local governments from imposing taxes or fees on the manufacturing, distribution, or sale of food, except as otherwise stated in state and federal law. Michigan Catholic Conference supported the legislation as these types of taxes disproportionally impact the poor. Senate Bill 583 passed committee and continues now to the Senate floor. House Bill 4999 received initial discussion but awaits further consideration. 

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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