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
September 20, 2019

  In This Update:  
  • As Deadline Looms, Legislators Begin to Move State Budget
  • TAKE ACTION: Contact Your U.S. Representative Regarding the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act
  • Suicide Commission Bill Moves to Full House
  • Elder and Vulnerable Adult Abuse Legislation Before Full House
  • Abuse Prevention Bills Passed by House
  • REMINDER: Sign the Petition Drive to End Dismemberment Abortion
  As Deadline Looms, Legislators Begin to Move State Budgets  
Michigan Capital BuildingWith the September 30 fiscal year end quickly approaching, Governor Whitmer and members of the Michigan Legislature have decided to postpone discussion of a long-term road funding solution. As a result, the House and Senate took one step closer to advancing a budget with the hope of avoiding a shutdown of state government. Both chambers passed their initial versions of the budget in June and have been ironing out the items of difference through the conference committee process. Last week, as reported here, the legislature adopted conference reports for the Higher Education and K-12 School Aid budgets. This week, the legislature approved the K-12 School Aid budget and sent it to the governor. It is anticipated that all remaining departmental budgets will be sent to the governor next Tuesday. Additionally, the legislature adopted the remaining conference reports including the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Treasury budgets. Below are items of interest to Michigan Catholic Conference (MCC) that have been agreed to thus far:

Michigan Pregnancy and Parenting Support Services Program
Provides support to pregnant women and promotes alternatives to abortion. Over 8,400 women and their babies have been helped by its services, through more than 32,595 client visits, since it began in 2013. Although the governor did not propose continued funding, the Conference Committee Report provides $700,000 for the program to continue.

Services for Pregnant University Students
Helps establish and operate a pregnant and parenting student services office (according to guidelines in law that do not allow for abortion rereferrals). The conference report includes $150,000 for this purpose.

Private Foster Care Administrative Rate
Appropriates funding for administrative rates to child placing agencies and residential service providers that serve foster children awaiting safe, permanent homes. The conference report includes a minimum rate of $46.20 per day.

Children's Clothing Allowance
Helps low-income families purchase clothing for the school year. The conference report maintains funding at $7.23 million.

Emergency Shelter Services
Includes funding for the per diem rates for emergency shelter services for the homeless. The conference report maintains the increase in per diem rates for emergency shelter services from $16 to $18 per bed night provided by Public Act 618 of 2018.

Human Trafficking Services
Provides intervention, housing, and comprehensive services to survivors of human trafficking. The conference report includes $200,000 for intervention services for human trafficking victims and onetime funding of $1 million for two long-term shelters that address victim housing and service needs.

Dual Enrollment
Allows nonpublic high school students to enroll in a post-secondary institution class while still enrolled in high school. The conference report retains funding at $2 million.
  TAKE ACTION: Contact Your U.S. Representative Regarding the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act  
The U.S. House Democratic Majority has repeatedly ignored calls for a full hearing on the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, and is unwilling to take a vote. In response, House Republicans recently held a special minority hearing. The September 10th hearing revealed powerful stories and testimony, which explained why Congress, in the name of simple humanity and justice, should pass the Born-Alive Act. Listen to Jill Stanek, RN, a nurse who found an abortion survivor; Dr. Robin Pierucci, MD, neonatologist and medical director of a 50-bed neonatal intensive care unit in Kalamazoo; Dr. Kathi Aultman, M.D., Retired Ob/Gyn and former abortion provider; and Tessa Longbons, Research Associate, the Charlotte Lozier Institute. Please contact your member of Congress today to encourage them to sign the discharge petition, and to allow for a vote on the legislation!
  Suicide Commission Bill Reported by House Committee  
Legislation that would create a Michigan Suicide Prevention Commission continues to move forward. Senate Bill 228, sponsored by Senator Jim Runestad (R-White Lake), details the groups and individuals that would be represented on the committee, as well as the purpose of the proposed commission: to research the causes of suicide and present recommendations for addressing risk factors. This week, the House Ways and Means Committee approved the measure 10-0, sending it to the full House. MCC has supported the legislation throughout the process, to improve the life-affirming support and care that is available to Michiganders and to reduce suicide rates in the state.
  MCC Supports Package Protecting Elders and Vulnerable Adults From Abuse  
A smiling nurse bringing an elderly man a mealMCC supported a bipartisan package of bills in the House Families, Children and Seniors Committee regarding elder (65+) and vulnerable adult abuse. House Bills 4254-4260 and 4265 would, among other things, expand current provisions related to embezzlement and crimes against vulnerable adults to also include elder adults. This week the Committee unanimously approved the bills, which are sponsored by Representatives Doug Wozniak (R-Shelby Twp.), Graham Filler (R-Ovid), Kyra Bolden (D-Southfield), Kathy Crawford (R-Novi), Tenisha Yancey (D-Harper Woods), Vanessa Guerra (D-Saginaw), Sarah Anthony (D-Lansing), and Diana Farrington (R-Utica). The package now proceeds to the House Judiciary Committee for further consideration.
  Medical Abuse Prevention Bills Passed by House  
This week, the House passed two measures, House Bills 4370 and 4371, which would require health professionals to keep medical records for at least fifteen years on procedures or treatments that involve rectal or vaginal penetration. The measures also require the Michigan Board of Medicine and four other medical boards to create a pamphlet on proper protocols during these types of sensitive procedures. The proposal would include exemptions for gastrointestinal, gynecological, urological and sexual health services, and doctors taking a young child's temperature. MCC supports the bills, sponsored by Representatives Mary Whiteford (R-Casco Twp.) and Roger Hauck (R-Mt. Pleasant), which provide more comprehensive education about sensitive medical procedures and set clear standards for what is acceptable treatment and what is not. The measures now await consideration by the Senate.
  REMINDER: Sign the Petition Drive to End Dismemberment Abortion  
End Dismemberment Abortion logoSince June 26, Michiganders began collecting signatures for a Citizen's Initiative Petition to end dismemberment abortion in this state. The brutal procedure, most commonly used during the second trimester of pregnancy, dismembers a living unborn child, removing him or her from the womb limb by limb. The Michigan Values Life Committee leading the effort needs the signatures of approximately 400,000 Michigan voters to bring this ban forward to state lawmakers. MCC and the Catholic bishops of Michigan are strongly supportive of this petition and are pleased with the enthusiastic reaction thus far in the Catholic community.

There is still time to have your signature counted, especially as many parishes are continuing to collect signatures through the next several weeks. Check with your local parish for opportunities to sign the petition form or visit the Michigan Values Life website to request a petition form, which you can sign and get friends or family in your county to sign also:

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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,