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 8, 2019

  In This Update:  
  • Resolution: Catholic Schools Strengthen the Common Good
  • MCC-Supported "Raise the Age" Policy Re-Introduced in State Legislature
  • MCC Participates in Catholic Social Ministry Gathering
  Resolution: Catholic Schools Strengthen the Common Good  
As mentioned in a previous Lansing Update, the Michigan Senate recently adopted a resolution to recognize January 27-February 2 as Catholic Schools Week in the state. Delayed by bad weather last week, the Michigan House of Representatives adopted their own resolution celebrating the event when they returned to legislative session this Tuesday, February 5. In part, the resolution, sponsored by Representative Pamela Hornberger (R-Chesterfield Twp.) reads: "The common good of the state of Michigan is strengthened through the continued existence of Catholic schools" and "Catholic schools are part of a solution to form productive lives for future generations." Michigan Catholic Conference (MCC) is thankful to the Michigan Legislature for recognizing the positive impact of Catholic schools, staff, and students across the state. Read the full text of House Resolution 15.
  MCC-Supported "Raise the Age" Policy Re-Introduced in State Legislature  
Current state law automatically charges and sentences Michigan seventeen-year-olds in the adult justice system, even for first-time, non-violent offenses. This misguided policy does not serve the state well. Thankfully, bipartisan legislation was introduced in both the Michigan House of Representatives and Senate this week that would instead allow seventeen-year-olds to remain in the juvenile justice system and receive age-appropriate rehabilitative services, except in the most serious cases. The last two legislative sessions, Michigan Catholic Conference supported the "Raise the Age" policy and is grateful to the lawmakers on both sides of the aisle for shining a spotlight on the need for this important reform. MCC will keep members apprised of further action as we advocate for the bills throughout the process.

To learn more about the advocacy guidelines for MCC, including other policies MCC hopes to pursue during this two year legislative session, read A Blueprint for the Common Good, 2019-2020 Advocacy Principles. These principles were approved by the MCC Board of Directors in December 2018.
  MCC Participates in Social Ministry Gathering  
This week, two members of MCC's policy staff had the opportunity to participate in the Catholic Social Ministry Gathering in Washington D.C. This annual gathering, organized by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), brings together leaders in Catholic social ministry and advocacy and facilitates Congressional visits on key legislative issues. The 2019 theme was "Let Justice Flow: A Call to Restore and Reconcile." MCC met with members of the Michigan Congressional delegation. During these meetings, MCC spoke primarily about the importance of legislative relief for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) recipients and about protection against significant budget cuts for programs that serve the poor.  

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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,