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 14, 2020

  In This Update:  
  • School Safety Device Bill Close to Final Adoption
  • House Next to Consider Elder Abuse Legislation
  • MCC Supports Energy Freedom Package
  • 2020 Census: Count Begins in March
  School Safety Device Bill Close to Final Adoption  
This week, the Michigan Senate voted unanimously in support of House Bill 4689, a bill that would allow temporary door barricade devices to be installed in school buildings. These temporary devices are mechanisms that can be installed on the interior side of a door and can secure that door against forced entry when engaged. Under the legislation, schools would be required to notify local law enforcement and fire departments before installing such a device on their premises, and they would be required to provide training to staff members on how to utilize them during an emergency. Throughout the legislative process, Michigan Catholic Conference (MCC) has supported the measure, which is sponsored by Representative Scott VanSingel (R-Grant), as a method of increasing safety in both public and nonpublic schools. The Senate made a few small changes to the bill before voting, so it will be returned to the House of Representatives. If House lawmakers agree to those changes with a concurrence vote, House Bill 4689 will be sent to the governor for final consideration. 
  House Next to Consider Elder Abuse Legislation  
This week, the House Judiciary Committee widely approved bills addressing elder abuse. House Bills 4254-4260 and 4265 would expand current provisions related to embezzlement against vulnerable adults to also include elder adults, or those who are 80 years old and older. The bills also would make it a crime to assault or to restrain vulnerable or elder adults. The sponsors of the bill package include 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). MCC supports these bipartisan bills, which provide stronger protections for older adults against abuse and exploitation. After the committee vote, the package continues to the full House of Representatives.
  MCC Supports Energy Freedom Package  
The Senate Energy Policy Committee met this week to begin hearing testimony on an "Energy Freedom" package of bills. House Bills 596 through 598 would, among other provisions:
  • Allow low-income customers to participate in community energy programs.
  • Remove the cap on how much residential solar power can enter the electric grid, which is also referred to as "net metering."
  • Provide a fair price to those who sell power to the grid. 
MCC supported the three bills and has advocated for similar legislation in previous legislative sessions in order to promote environmental stewardship and energy affordability. The bipartisan Energy Freedom package, sponsored by Senators Tom Barrett (R-Charlotte), Ed McBroom (R-Vulcan), and Jeff Irwin (D-Ann Arbor), did not receive a vote this week.
  2020 Census: Count Begins in March  
In March, Michiganders will receive information in the mail from the federal government about the 2020 Census and how to respond. This count occurs every ten years and will determine our state's representation in Congress for the next decade, as well as the way legislative lines are drawn at the local levels. It will also play a significant role in how federal funding is distributed, impacting local schools, hospitals, road construction, and more. When people are not counted, communities lose out. Make sure you are included in this year's census. Each household will be able to respond to the questionnaire via mail, phone, or online. Learn more at Michigan Catholic Conference's website:

More information is also available in MCC's latest FOCUS publication: 2020 Census-Counting Our Communities
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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,