News Release: Michigan Catholic Conference Announces 1999–2000 Legislative Agenda

Life, Children and Families, Health, Education and Taxation Are Top Priorities

January 27, 1999

LANSING—A consistent pro-life ethic, parental rights in education, improved access to health care, children’s issues and maintenance of tax-exempt status for religious organizations top the Michigan Catholic Conference’s 1999–2000 legislative agenda.

Paul A. Long, Vice President, Public Policy, said today the Michigan Catholic Conference’s legislative agenda is based on the fundamental principle of justice for all people.

“The principles used to develop this legislative agenda flow from the basic belief in the inherent dignity of each person and in society’s responsibility to ensure that dignity,” said Long. “This document provides a philosophical outline and foundation for our involvement on specific legislation. The range of issues is diverse, but the Catholic community brings to the public debate its rich tradition of service to the poor, education of the young and care for the sick in its pursuit of the common good.”

Published in the January issue of Focus, the periodic MCC publication, the legislative agenda lists among its priority issues: strengthening family life; expanding parental choice in education; promoting access to basic health care and a strong state human services budget; and opposing the death penalty, abortion and assisted suicide.

On this last point the agenda states, “the death penalty, in any form or fashion, must be opposed as a direct attack on human life. While society has a right to protect itself, there are better approaches to protecting people from violent crime than state sanctioned killing.”

The agenda was approved by the MCC Board of Directors in December 1998.

Michigan Catholic Conference is the official public policy voice of the Catholic Church in this state.

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