Lansing Update: October 7, 2016

In This Update:

State of Michigan Prepares to Reimburse Nonpublic Schools for State Mandates

The State of Michigan budget office is preparing to reimburse nonpublic schools for complying with health and safety mandates required by the state. The reimbursements are scheduled to be distributed in August 2017 after an official form is developed and the state reviews the reimbursement requests. Reimbursements for health and safety mandates were included in the 2016-2017 budget and are allocated from the state's General Fund. Michigan is now among three other states across the country, including New York, Ohio and Louisiana, that reimburse nonpublic schools for mandate compliance. Preparations from the budget office commenced this week after the Michigan Supreme Court decided against issuing an Advisory Opinion requested by Governor Rick Snyder regarding the constitutionality of the funding. While the state is moving forward with the reimbursement, public school advocacy groups have threatened litigation to stop the payments. In response to this week's activity, MCC issued the following statement:

"It is important to note that despite the Court's denial of the advisory opinion, it did not find the funding unconstitutional as the opponents had argued, meaning the appropriation will continue and nonpublic schools are entitled to funding. At this point we look forward to working with the Michigan Department of Education to establish the parameters by which nonpublic schools will rightfully be reimbursed for complying with health and safety mandates. Michigan Catholic Conference is disappointed in the Court's decision not to issue an advisory opinion, yet we will continue to support the appropriation and any legal efforts to protect its intent to ensure every student in Michigan is treated equally by the State of Michigan.

MCC was the lead advocate for the Section 152b appropriation through this year's budget process. MCC additionally supported the Governor's request to the Supreme Court for an advisory opinion by filing an amicus brief that argued in favor of the appropriation. Any updates regarding the Section 152b funding will be shared as they become available.

MCC Launches 2016 Election Website

Earlier this week, Michigan Catholic Conference (MCC) launched its election website, which offers materials for Catholics to reflect upon before they head to the polls on Tuesday, November 8. The website includes information to assist in conscience formation, questions to consider when evaluating candidates at all levels of government, political guidelines for parishes, and Election Day logistics. It is important to note that those who would like to participate in the election must be registered to vote by Tuesday, October 11. Visit for more information.