Michigan Catholic Conference is responding to Governor Whitmer’s veto of Education Savings Account legislation by encouraging the Governor and lawmakers to help students whose academics have been impacted by the Covid pandemic. MCC had offered its support for the ESA bills due to their ability to assist families enrolled in both public and nonpublic schools with education-related costs.
Michigan Catholic Conference is urging Governor Gretchen Whitmer to sign into law legislation that would assist parents and students by allowing for the creation of Educational Savings Accounts. According to legislation that has passed both the Senate and House of Representatives, each student in Michigan would have access to financial resources for use toward qualified expenses in either a public or nonpublic school setting. The bill package allocates up to $500 million from the state’s General Fund, rather than the resources coming from the state School Aid Budget.
Upon learning of the death of former Congressman Dale Kildee, 92, MCC offered a reflection on the person and character traits that made Mr. Kildee among the most respectable and well-appreciated elected officials in the State of Michigan. A lifelong Catholic, Mr. Kildee fought from Lansing and Washington, D.C. for the equitable treatment of non-public schools, defended and promoted the dignity of all human life, and spoke eloquently of the responsibility to care for the poor among us. In 1988, Kildee composed a monograph titled Government as a Force for Good, one in a series of six publications that recognized the 25th Anniversary of Michigan Catholic Conference.
The state of Michigan and its elected officials have a moral obligation to support the authorized admittance of refugees fleeing violence in Afghanistan, according to a Resolution that was discussed in the House Military, Veterans, and Homeland Security Committee today. “Refugees, immigrants, and asylees, together with the current Afghan evacuees, flee their homeland in search of safety and religious freedom, values known worldwide to be present and at the very heart and soul of the United States of America,” MCC stated in a news release.
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer has vetoed several funding policies that would protect the life of unborn children, including a relatively mere $700,000 for a policy to provide pregnant mothers in need with a full range of wrap-around services for her and her child before and after birth. The vetoes are part of a final 2022 state budget that otherwise includes provisions Michigan Catholic Conferences finds helpful in the areas of adoption and foster care and support for low-income and vulnerable persons in the state.
Michigan Catholic Conference has offered reflections upon learning of the death of United States Senator Carl Levin. “As the longest-serving United States Senator from the Great Lakes state, Senator Levin possessed a keen and widely respected reputation for foreign affairs. May his immense passion for justice be an opportunity for divergent political views to find common ground and a focal point both for those in elected office and our broader society to uphold and promote the dignity of all people.”
To protect the constitutional religious rights of all citizens of the state, MCC is citing concerns over a ballot proposal that seeks to define religion in the state constitution as only a person’s individual beliefs and would restrict the presence of faith-based charitable aid organizations in the public square. On July 26, the Board of State Canvassers voted 4–0 to deny certification to the petitions brought forward by Fair and Equal Michigan.
Today the U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously 9–0 in Fulton vs. City of Philadelphia that faith-based agencies providing child placement services in the public square with fidelity to their religious teachings are constitutional exercises and, as such, may continue providing those services within their faith tradition. Michigan Catholic Conference is praising the Court’s protection of religious liberty rights and is grateful for the work of faith-based agencies, Catholic Charities in particular, for their Gospel-mandated mission to exercise their ‘love of neighbor’ toward poor and vulnerable persons.
At a press event held online today, Michigan Catholic Conference joined with advocacy organizations calling on lawmakers to support measures that would provide state identification cards and driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants.
Michigan Catholic Conference is expressing its gratitude to the Michigan Senate today for passing legislation that appropriates some $87 million in federal dollars to assist Catholic and other nonpublic schools in the state with costs associated with the COVID pandemic.