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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 7, 2019
 

  In This Update:  
 
  • U.S. House Passes American Dream and Promise Act 
  • House Education Budget Proposals Clear Subcommittees
 
  U.S. House Passes American Dream and Promise Act  
 
The U.S. House of Representatives approved H.R. 6, the "American Dream and Promise Act of 2019," by a 237-187 vote this week. The bill would set out a pathway to citizenship for certain individuals, including Dreamers, or undocumented immigrant youth who entered the United States as children; those eligible from countries designated for Temporary Protected Status (TPS); or those eligible from countries designated as Deferred Enforcement Departure (DED) as of 2016 and who have been living in the U.S. for at least three years. The policy could impact approximately 2,662,000 people currently living in the United States. To learn more about why the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) supports this legislation, read last week's Lansing Update. Michigan Catholic Conference (MCC) is thankful to the eight members of the Michigan Congressional delegation who voted in favor of the bill: U.S. Representatives Dan Kildee (D-5th District), Fred Upton (R-6th District), Elissa Slotkin (D-8th District), Andy Levin (D-9th District), Haley Stevens (D-11th District), Debbie Dingell (D-12th District), Rashida Tlaib (D-13th District), and Brenda Lawrence (D-14th District). H.R. 6 now will be sent to the U.S. Senate for further consideration. 
 
  House Education Budget Proposals Clear Subcommittee  
 
The Michigan House Appropriations Subcommittees have approved their state budget proposals (October 2019-September 2020) in the areas of K-12 School Aid and Higher Education this week. MCC is grateful to the two subcommittee chairs, Aaron Miller (R-Sturgis) and Scott VanSingel (R-Grant), for their leadership. In the next couple weeks, the full House Appropriations Committee is expected to consider and report out all the department and 2019-2020 budget proposals. Note: the Michigan Senate has already voted on its budget proposals and is slightly further along in the process than the House currently.
  • Nonpublic School Mandate Funding: reimburses nonpublic schools for expenses related to State health, safety, and welfare requirements, including criminal background checks and safety drills. The Senate previously recommended $250,000 for this purpose, which could also be combined with carry-over funding not used in previous years. The House K-12 School Aid Appropriations Subcommittee recommendation also allows for carry-over funds and provides $100,000.
     
  • First Robotics Funding for Nonpublic Schools: proposes competitive grant funding for programs such as First Robotics or Science Olympiad in nonpublic schools. The Senate included $300,000 for this item. The House K-12 School Aid Appropriations Subcommittee recommends $800,000 and allows STEM extracurricular activities to also qualify as eligible programs. 
     
  • Mental Health Funding: ensures nonpublic students can access mental health counseling, educational awareness programs, and enhanced mental health clinical services as their public counterparts can. The Senate and House K-12 School Aid Appropriations Subcommittees included funding for school-based mental health services, which is available for nonpublic school students upon request. Currently, the Senate proposal has $8 million more allocated than the House for these services.
     
  • Tuition Grant Program: provides financial assistance to help low-income students attend one of Michigan's independent colleges/universities. The Senate proposal retained funding at its current level ($38 million). The House Higher Education Appropriations Subcommittee boosted the appropriation for this Tuition Grant Program by $500,000 to a total of $38.5 million. 
     
  • Tuition Incentive Program: helps Medicaid recipients attend a public/independent college. Like the Senate, the House Higher Education Appropriations Subcommittee retains funding at $64.3 million.
     
  • Shared Time: allows a nonpublic student to enroll in "non-essential" elective courses at a public school and be considered a part-time pupil in the public school for state aid purposes. Like the Senate, the House K-12 School Aid Appropriations Subcommittee maintains last year's funding levels for this program. 
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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