The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is asking for Catholics across the country to sign an online petition to protect the Hyde Amendment and related provisions. For forty-five years, federal policies that protect the unborn have prevented taxpayer dollars from paying for abortions. Unfortunately, powerful voices, including some elected officials in Congress, are calling for their elimination, and we need YOUR HELP. Together, we can send a strong message to Congress: our taxpayer dollars SHOULD NOT pay for abortions. Find resources for promoting the petition at www.micatholic.org/NoTaxpayerAbortion.
Last week, the Senate Fiscal Agency, the House Fiscal Agency, and the State Budget Office all met for the second Consensus Revenue Estimating Conference of the year. These conferences, usually held in January and May, project available state revenues. Overall, the news at the Consensus Revenue Estimating Conference was positive for state officials:
For the 2020-21 fiscal year, the conference revised revenues upward from January by $1.04 billion and the School Aid Fund by $1 billion, to $11.28 billion and $15.03 billion, respectively.
For the upcoming 2021-22 fiscal year that starts October 1, revenues were revised upward from January by $776 million in the General Fund and $707 million in the School Aid Fund, to $11.67 billion and $15.13 billion, respectively.
Increased revenues, plus federal COVID-19 aid coming into the state, will help Michigan lawmakers as they continue to formulate state budget proposals. To review the latest proposals in the State Legislature regarding budget items of interest to MCC, click here.
On the anniversary of George Floyd's death at the hands of law enforcement officers, a group of state legislators introduced a twelve-bill package of law enforcement reforms. The bipartisan sponsors say the package seeks to improve public safety, introducing provisions to curb excessive force, to offer additional training, and to address recruiting procedures. Last year, Michigan Catholic Conference supported measures to provide current and future law enforcement officers with training on implicit bias, de-escalation techniques, and behavioral health resources. Senator Jeff Irwin (D-Ann Arbor) has again introduced a similar measure as part of this year's package. Staff is currently reviewing all of the bills to determine next steps.
This upcoming Monday, May 31, 2021, the United States will celebrate Memorial Day, an annual recognition of the U.S. service men and women from this country who have died. Michigan Catholic Conference is grateful for the sacrifice of so many individuals and families who have fought to protect American freedoms and joins in this prayer to commemorate the day:
God of power and mercy, you destroy war and put down earthly pride. Banish violence from our midst and wipe away our tears, that we may all deserve to be called your sons and daughters. Keep in your mercy those men and women who have died in the cause of freedom and bring them safely into your kingdom of justice and peace. We ask this though Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen (Catholic Household Blessings and Prayers).