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 19, 2021

  In This Update:  
  • Urge Your U.S. Officials to Oppose Discriminatory Legislation
  • Speak Out to Oppose Payday Lending Expansion
  • Catholic Conference Supports Net Metering Legislation
  Urge Your U.S. Officials to Oppose Discriminatory Legislation  
In the near future, federal lawmakers are likely to consider a piece of legislation called the Equality Act. In contrast to its name, however, the Equality Act would discriminate against people of faith and threaten unborn life if it is passed.

Contact your U.S. Senators and Representative today.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Michigan Catholic Conference have long stated that every human person deserves to be treated with respect and dignity. However, the Equality Act, which could be voted on in the U.S. House of Representatives as soon as next week, does the opposite in many ways and needs to be opposed. Instead of respecting differences in beliefs about marriage and sexuality, the Equality Act would discriminate against people of faith. More specifically, the bill would: 
  • Punish faith-based organizations, such as charities and schools who serve everyone in their communities, simply because of their beliefs.
  • Force girls and women to compete against boys and men for limited opportunities in sports, and to share locker rooms and shower spaces with biological males who identify as women.
  • Risk mandating taxpayers to fund abortions.
  • Force people in everyday life, and especially health care workers, to support gender transition.
  • Expand what the government considers a "public" place, forcing even some parish halls to host functions that conflict with Catholic beliefs.
As lawmakers consider the measure and their vote, share your opposition to the so-called Equality Act.
  Speak Out to Oppose Payday Lending Expansion  
The Michigan Legislature is again considering a measure that would expand payday lending opportunities in the state. House Bill 4004, sponsored by Representative Matt Hall (R-Emmett Twp.), would increase the maximum amount that person could borrow for a payday loan (high-interest, short-term loan), from $600 to $2,500. Michigan Catholic Conference (MCC) opposes the change, which would harm individuals and families struggling with financial hardship and would allow them to be charged an exorbitant annual interest rate that exceeds 130 percent on a maximum loan. While supporters say the bill would help individuals in need, in reality, this change would likely trap Michiganders into a crippling cycle of debt.

Michigan Catholic Conference (MCC) needs YOUR help. Last legislative session, your emails and calls were an essential component to defeating the measure. This year, it is important to raise your voices yet again, especially as there are new House members who may be less familiar with the issue and need to hear from their constituents. MCC is expecting the bill to receive a hearing in the House Regulatory Reform Committee in the coming weeks, so it is helpful to start contacting your legislators today. Please take a few minutes to email or call your State Representative in opposition to HB 4004!
  Catholic Conference Supports Net Metering Legislation  
The House Energy Committee considered testimony on House Bill 4236 this week, a measure which would remove the cap on how much residentially-produced power can enter the larger electric grid (a practice also known as "net metering"). MCC has advocated for similar legislation in previous sessions in order to promote environmental stewardship and energy affordability. There was no vote taken in committee on the bill, which is sponsored by Representative Gregory Markkanen (R-Hancock).

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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,