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CAN is an outreach of the Michigan Catholic Conference, the official public policy voice of the Catholic Church in Michigan
August 30, 2019
 

  In This Update:  
 
  • Legislation Requiring Marijuana Warning Labels Clear House Committee
  • MCC Supports Bills That Protect Victims of Sexual Assault
  • Resolution Regarding Inmate Medicaid Coverage Considered
Michigan lawmakers returned briefly this week to consider several legislative items. Those of concern to Michigan Catholic Conference (MCC) are detailed below. Discussions remain ongoing between legislative leadership and Governor Gretchen Whitmer about the October 2019-September 2020 state budget. A final version must be approved by September 30 to avoid a state governmental shutdown.
 
  Legislation Requiring Marijuana Warning Labels Clear House Committee  
 
This week, the House Judiciary Committee approved two measures (HBs 4126-4127) that would require all recreational and medical marijuana sold in Michigan to include a health warning for pregnant and nursing women. The warning would alert women that any marijuana use could result in fetal injury, preterm birth, low birth weight, or development problems for the child. This legislation is in line with recommendations from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Centers for Disease Control. The package would also require marijuana retailers, microbusinesses, and provisioning centers to make available-at the point of sale-a pamphlet regarding safety information related to minors and the poison control hotline. MCC supports the bills, sponsored by Representative Tom Albert (R-Lowell) and Daire Rendon (R-Lake City), as a matter of public safety. After an 11-2 bipartisan vote, both measures have moved on to the House of Representatives.
 
  MCC Supports Bills That Protect Victims of Sexual Assault  
 
Legislation addressing health professionals and sexual assault convictions, House Bills 4372 and 4373, received consideration this week by the House Judiciary Committee. Under the legislation, anyone licensed or registered under the Public Health Code (including but not limited to doctors, nurses, athletic trainers, dentists, and therapists) and convicted of "sexual penetration under the pretext of medical treatment" would face sanctions and the permanent revocation of their professional license or registration. MCC supports both bills and is grateful to the sponsors, Representatives Daire Rendon (R-Lake City) and Annette Glenn (R-Williams Township), for drawing continued attention to protections that would reduce future victimization. Similar measures were discussed but not adopted during the 2017-2018 legislative session. House Bills 4372-4373 received unanimous support in the House Judiciary Committee this week and continue to the full House of Representatives. 
 
  Resolution Regarding Inmate Medicaid Coverage Considered  
 
Current federal rules do not allow Medicaid matching dollars to be used for those in prison or jail, even if they previously have received Medicaid coverage. As a result of this policy, health care costs for those incarcerated are covered by state and local governments, which can make it more difficult to maintain a continuity of care or to navigate the transition over to Medicaid post-release. House Resolution 0093 of 2019, sponsored by Representative Hank Vaupel (R-Handy Township), would urge the U.S. Congress to support Medicaid coverage for these inmates. A representative of the Michigan Department of Corrections indicated that approximately ninety-five percent of the prison population in the state would be eligible for Medicaid if they were not incarcerated. While resolutions are non-binding, MCC supports the message HR 0093 sends to Congress about the importance of providing consistent, reliable treatments to those in Michigan's prisons and jails, especially those struggling with mental health or substance abuse issues. No vote was taken during the House Judiciary Committee this week.

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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