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
May 25, 2018

  In This Update:  
  • Catholic Conference Applauds House Passage of Abuse Prevention Legislation
  • MCC Supports School Safety Bills, Which Continue Now to Senate
  • Catholic Press Association Honors MCC With First-Place Gabriel Award
  • Memorial Day Remembers Service Men and Women Across America
  Catholic Conference Applauds House Passage of Abuse Prevention Legislation  
This week, the House Committee on Law and Justice and the full House passed a number of measures to enhance child protection in the state. In a statement after House vote, MCC applauded the significant thought and consideration given to the bill package over the last weeks:
"[House Law and Justice] Chairman Klint Kesto, vice-chair Peter Lucido, minority vice-chair Stephanie Chang, and Representative Lana Theis are to be applauded for their diligence and deliberation toward crafting good public policy to strengthen the state's child protection efforts. Through this process MCC advocated for a measure that would allow churches to access the FBI fingerprint database - considered the gold standard when conducting employee background checks. We hope to see this policy become law. The Catholic Church remains steadfast in its efforts to protect children and to ensure safe environments in communities across this state."
  MCC Supports School Safety Bills, Which Continue Now to Senate  
The Senate Education Committee adopted two bills this week aimed at enhancing school safety. Senate Bill 957, sponsored by Senator Kenneth Horn (R-Frankemuth), eliminates the sunset on the OK2Say program, which offers a confidential reporting system for threats or incidents of violence, self-harm, or other crimes against students or school personnel and connects individuals with law enforcement. Senate Bill 991, sponsored by Senator Dale Zorn (R-Ida), requires all schools to provide the State Police with an emergency contact name twice a year. Michigan Catholic Conference has supported the measures in committee and will continue to urge for their adoption as they are sent now to the Senate for further consideration. Staff also supported three measures, similar to bills in the House, that passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee this week and continue to the Senate floor. The bills are sponsored by Senators Darwin Booher (R-Evart), Dale Zorn (R-Ida Township), and Mike Nofs (R-Battle Creek). Senate Bills 958, 959, and 982 would:
  • Require school districts and public school academies to report on prevented attempts or threats of violence at school or towards school employees or students. The Michigan State Police would then be in charge of providing a report on these threats to the School Safety Commission.
  • Require law enforcement officers, starting in 2020, to receive active violence response training.
  • Establish the Office of School Safety in the Michigan State Police, which will administer safety improvement grants to public and nonpublic schools.
  Catholic Press Association Honors MCC With First-Place Gabriel Award  
The Catholic Press Association of the United States and Canada announced last week that Michigan Catholic Conference is among its first-place Gabriel Award winners for the short television feature "Hands of Service and Healing." The one-minute television advertisement features the work of Catholic Charities personnel to assist vulnerable persons, especially through the provision of fresh water and necessary services in the city of Flint. The Gabriel Awards, founded in 1965, honors works of excellence in film, network, cable television and radio as well as social media. The Award recognizes outstanding artistic achievement in media that entertains and enriches with a true vision of humanity and a true vision of life. MCC issued a statement after the announcement, saying:
"Every day faith-filled Catholic Charities staff and volunteers provide material, emotional, and spiritual support for vulnerable persons in communities across the state. This award is a testament to faith, service and charity, and the critical role Catholic agencies play to uplift the human dignity of every person in our society."
  Memorial Day Remembers Service Men and Women Across America  
On Monday, May 28, the nation will honor all men and women who have served in the United States Armed Forces, and in particular, those who paid the ultimate price for America's freedoms. The Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA celebrated a Memorial Mass last weekend during Pentecost for this purpose. Approximately 2,250 Catholics gathered in the Great Upper Church of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. During the service, Most Reverend Timothy P. Broglio, J.C.D., Archbishop for the Military Services, prayerfully remembered all U.S. veterans, service members, military chaplains, and their families, particularly the infirm and faithful departed:
"We are here primarily because men and women have repeatedly renounced their own interests, put their security at risk, and gone forth to defend our Nation, her friends, and the innocent all over.  Let us give thanks and pray for those who have died in the service of our Country, those who still carry the wounds of their service in body and in mind, the families who have sacrificed while loved ones were far away or did not return, and those veterans who have succumbed on the final journey."
Let us join with Archbishop Broglio in remembering and praying for these individuals and their families.
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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,