The U.S. Supreme Court ruled today in Carson v. Makin that the State of Maine’s refusal to provide funds for students to attend schools that provide religious instruction violates the Constitution. According to the ruling, the state must allow for students to use funds at religious schools because the state provides funds for students to attend private, non-religious schools. Michigan Catholic Conference noted in a statement today that while the opinion requires further examination for any potential impact here, it does bring us closer to the day when families in all 50 states have access to full educational choice.
Michigan Catholic Conference has formally announced it is helping to steer a statewide ballot question committee in opposition to a proposed “anything goes” constitutional amendment that would permit unrestricted abortion throughout pregnancy and prevent parental participation in their children’s lives related to human sexuality. “This is an historic occasion for the pro-life community and indeed all people in Michigan to oppose such an extreme amendment to the state constitution,” said Michigan Catholic Conference President and CEO Paul A. Long. “We are eager to engage with all people of goodwill to clarify how dangerous this proposal is for unborn children, vulnerable women and families.”
Michigan Catholic Conference responded to a lawsuit filed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer today attempting to overturn longstanding state law that prohibits abortion in Michigan other than to save the life of the mother.
Bishop Emeritus of the Diocese of Grand Rapids Most Rev. Robert J. Rose went home to be with the Lord on Ash Wednesday, March 2. He was 92 years old. Bishop Rose was a dear friend to the MCC, having served the Conference both as a Board member and Chair of the MCC Finance Committee during his time in episcopal office in the Diocese of Gaylord and the Diocese of Grand Rapids. “He was a strong supporter of the work and mission of MCC and was passionate about its advocacy for human life, social justice and the common good,” said Paul A. Long, MCC President and CEO.
Since 2003 Michigan Catholic Conference has advocated for the state Earned Income Tax Credit, a tax policy that benefits low-income wage earners and their families through a deduction on state taxes. Providing state support in addition to the credit at the federal level, Michigan workers currently are able to claim six percent of the federal credit on their state taxes. MCC is supporting initiatives in both the legislature and from the governor’s office that would greatly enhance the tax credit on behalf of working families.
Michigan Catholic Conference is applauding a settlement agreement filed in federal court Jan. 25 that allows faith-based adoption and foster care providers to continue to operate according to their religious mission. The settlement agreement between St. Vincent Catholic Charities and the state of Michigan protects conscience rights in the provision of child placement and, as such, helps to ensure religious foster care and adoption agencies will continue to serve Michigan children and families of varying religious, ethnic, and socio-economic backgrounds.
On January 7, a group of pro-abortion rights organizations announced the formation of a ballot committee to consider a petition drive to enshrine abortion in the state constitution. In response, MCC Policy Advocate Rebecca Mastee said “More than anything, women considering an abortion deserve support, love, and compassion. For decades, abortion has been touted as the only option, harmless and easy, yet we know this is a lie. Abortion hurts women.”
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.