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
March 5, 2021

  In This Update:  
  • ACTION ALERT! Federal COVID Relief Continues to U.S. Senate; Your Voice is Still Needed
  • State Legislature Approves Funding for Nonpublic Schools in COVID-19 Relief Package
  • Michigan Bishops Address Moral Concerns with Johnson & Johnson Vaccine 
  ACTION ALERT! Federal COVID Relief Continues to U.S. Senate; Your Voice is Still Needed  
Last week, Michigan Catholic Conference (MCC) asked for Catholic Advocacy Network members to contact their federal lawmakers to ensure any COVID-related assistance that is passed prioritizes the poor and vulnerable, while also protecting the unborn. The current proposal, the American Rescue Plan Act, recently was approved by the U.S. House of Representatives. This week, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops called the plan "an important step in the right direction" for families and businesses hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic but also raised concerns about specific aspects of the legislation. One of these concerns expressed by the bishops is that the bill still appropriates billions of taxpayer dollars that are not subject to longstanding, bi-partisan pro-life protections. In essence, that would allow taxpayer funding to be directed towards paying for abortions, if the measure is passed without changes. Your voice is still needed! If you haven't already, please take the time to email Senators Stabenow and Peters today.
  State Legislature Approves Funding for Nonpublic Schools in COVID-19 Relief Package  
This week, the Michigan Legislature passed supplemental budget bills for the 2020-2021 Fiscal Year. The measures allocate additional funding for state and local needs through September 30 of this year, available through federal COVID-19 aid. Within the bills are a number of critical items, including:
  • $1.95 billion for K-12 school assistance:
    • $87 million for nonpublic schools to help with expenses related to COVID-19. 
    • $20 million for mental health services.
    • $10.0 million for parent summer school expense reimbursement.
    • $21.3 million for incentives for teachers and staff who work summer educational programs.
  • COVID-19 vaccine informed consent requirements. This provision would mandate that anyone who administers a vaccine tells patients to what degree a vaccine was developed from aborted fetal tissue or embryonic stem cell lines.
  • $220 million in emergency rental assistance, which helps prevent eviction for those in need.
This spending legislation includes $4.2 billion of the $5.6 billion aid passed by Congress for Michigan. Michigan Catholic Conference will provide updates as the governor considers the funding.
  Michigan Bishops Address Moral Concerns with Johnson & Johnson Vaccine  
In December 2020, in the midst of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Catholic bishops in Michigan provided insights about the benefit of vaccinations for public health outcomes. The bishops also addressed moral questions for Catholics about the COVID-19 vaccines available at the time: Pfizer and Moderna. With the introduction of a new option from Johnson & Johnson that is now available, the Michigan bishops have revised their statement to share moral concerns with the additional vaccine's design, production, development, and testing. Read the bishops' statement here.

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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,