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
October 16, 2020

  In This Update:  
  • Stillborn Certificate Fee Exemption Signed Into Law
  • MCC Encourages Participation in 2020 Election, Offers Voter Resources
  • Take the Pledge: Join Other Michiganders in "Civilizing It"
  • Legislation to Eliminate Certain Mandatory Minimums Continues Forward
  Stillborn Certificate Fee Exemption Signed Into Law  
This week, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed House Bill 5289 into law as Public Act 209 of 2020, which would assist families grieving a stillborn child. The measure, which received nearly unanimous support in the Michigan Legislature, prohibits the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services from charging a fee when a family requests up to two copies of a certificate of stillbirth. This documentation allows parents who have a stillborn child to claim an exemption on their state income tax, which can help defray expenses after their loss. Michigan Catholic Conference (MCC) has advocated for the policy throughout the process and is pleased to see its passage.
  MCC Encourages Participation in 2020 Election, Offers Voter Resources  
At all times of year, Catholics are called to "contribute to the common good and act in solidarity with those in need" (U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship). That directive also includes participating in local, state, and federal elections, guided by one's faith values. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) urges Catholics to consider candidate positions on a wide range of issues important to the Church, while also making sure to weigh each according to its moral equivalence, as not all issue bear the same weight on our consciences. MCC encourages all eligible Michiganders to participate in the voting process and wants to share the following resources, which are worth reflecting upon before casting one's ballot:
For more information about the upcoming election-including voting logistics, state ballot proposal analyses, conscience formation resources, and more-visit
  Take the Pledge: Join Other Michiganders in "Civilizing It"  
Too often, political discussions devolve into harsh language and personal attacks. To combat that tendency and to seek a better way, Michigan Catholic Conference encourages all Michiganders to participate in Civilize It. This nonpartisan initiative promotes civility and greater respect for one another within conversations in the public realm. Many Michigan Catholics have already taken the Civilize It pledge, and you can too at
  Legislation to Eliminate Certain Mandatory Minimums Continues Forward  
House Bills 5844, 5846-5857 would eliminate mandatory minimum sentences for various misdemeanor offenses in the Motor Vehicle Code, School Code, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act, Railroad Code and Public Health Code. In the cases of several drunk or drugged driving offenses, the legislation would prohibit a judge from waiving the minimum sentence unless the offender completes a specialty court program, which encourages rehabilitation. The package enjoys bipartisan support and is sponsored by Representatives Joseph Bellino (R-Monroe), Tim Sneller (D-Burton), Tommy Brann (R-Wyoming), Steven Johnson (R-Wayland), Jack O'Malley (R-Lake Ann). MCC supports these measures, which passed the Senate Judiciary and Public Safety Committee and continue to the full Senate. 
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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,