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 22, 2019

  In This Update:  
  • Support Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act 
  • Vatican Meeting Focuses on Protection of Minors
  • Senators Highlight Bipartisan "Raise the Age" Bills
  • MCC Supports Charitable Giving Tax Credit in Committee
  • USCCB Expresses Concerns on Border Wall Order
  • The Word from Lansing: Pushing Back Against Racism
  Support Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act  
Several weeks ago, Michigan Catholic Conference (MCC) asked members of the Catholic Advocacy Network to urge the U.S. Congress to consider and support the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act. This federal legislation would require any health care practitioner present when a child is born alive following an abortion to give the same degree of care to preserve the life and health of the child as would be given to any other newborn. Additionally, after this care, it requires the practitioner to ensure that the child is immediately transported and admitted to a hospital. Michigan's U.S. senators received hundreds of messages, alerting them to the desire within the state for action on this important legislation. 

Thankfully, the U.S. Senate has scheduled a vote on the proposed act (S. 311) this upcoming Monday, February 25. Even if you have already urged Senators Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow to vote for the bill, please contact them again and urge them to be present and supportive in their vote. Your email only takes a few moments and sends a critical message about the need for this reform. Thank you!
  Vatican Meeting Focuses on Protection of Minors  
A worldwide summit is currently in process at the Vatican (February 21-24) and is focused on the protection of minors in the Church. The meeting brings together close to two hundred leaders of the Catholic Church, including Pope Francis, 114 presidents of episcopal conferences in countries around the world (such as Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, head of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops), and over twenty leaders of male and female religious orders. Leaders will hear from survivors of sexual abuse at the hands of clergy. Pope Francis has called for the meeting "to produce responsibility and concrete action, not just denunciations of abuse." Learn more about the meeting at
  Senators Highlight Bipartisan "Raise the Age" Bills  
This week, Michigan Catholic Conference attended a press conference at the Michigan Capitol with a bipartisan group of State Senators to support "Raise the Age" legislation. This policy is needed for Michigan to ensure that seventeen-year-olds are no longer automatically treated as adults in the criminal justice system, especially for first-time, non-violent offenses. Allowing most seventeen-year-olds to remain in the juvenile system will provide access age-appropriate rehabilitative services and turn their lives around. MCC staff is thankful for the leadership of Senator Peter J.  Lucido (R-Shelby Twp) and Senator Sylvia Santana (D-Detroit) on this important issue in the Michigan Senate. A similar bipartisan bill package has been introduced in the Michigan House of Representatives, and MCC is also grateful to House leadership for including this issue in their action plan for the 2019-2020 legislative session. MCC looks forward to supporting action in both chambers on this critical issue.
  MCC Supports Charitable Giving Tax Credit in Committee  
MCC supported a measure this week in the Senate Finance Committee that would restore the state's charitable giving tax credit (eliminated as part of a larger tax reform package in 2011). Senate Bill 55, sponsored by Senator Jim Runestad (R-White Lake Twp), would provide a nonrefundable tax credit for contributions that help people in need, including to a homeless shelter, food bank, food kitchen, or community foundation. The Committee considered testimony but did not vote on the bill this week.
  USCCB Expresses Concerns on Border Wall Order  
At the end of last week, President Donald Trump announced he would be issuing an order to declare a national emergency and make use of funds previously appropriated for other purposes for the construction of a wall at the U.S./Mexico border. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) responded to his announcement, saying:

"We are deeply concerned about the President's action to fund the construction of a wall along the U.S./Mexico border, which circumvents the clear intent of Congress to limit funding of a wall. We oppose the use of these funds to further the construction of the wall. The wall first and foremost is a symbol of division and animosity between two friendly countries. We remain steadfast and resolute in the vision articulated by Pope Francis that at this time we need to be building bridges and not walls."
  The Word from Lansing: Pushing Back Against Racism  
In November 2018, USCCB approved a pastoral statement on racism called "Open Wide Our Hearts: The Enduring Call to Love." The statement offers Catholic teaching and recommended actions in order to address the sin of racism that exists in the minds of many to this day. MCC's The Word from Lansing column for February shares more about this document, as well as lessons that prominent African-American Catholics offer to the Church. 

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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,