Advocacy

News Releases

Raise the Age Legislation Seeks a ‘Smart’ Approach to Juvenile Crime

Michigan would join 41 other states in the country that no longer automatically prosecute 17-year-olds as adults for a crime committed, according to legislation before the House Criminal Justice Committee supported by Michigan Catholic Conference. The multi-bill package, which would also prohibit juveniles from being housed with adult prisoners, is supported by both Republicans and Democrats and pursues a “smart on crime” approach to criminal justice. This legislation takes into account U.S. Supreme Court decisions such as Roper v. Simmons, Graham v. Florida, and Miller v. Alabama, which recognize academic and scientific research showing the differences in cognitive development between juveniles and adults. The legislation also seeks to provide greater rehabilitation services to youth who have committed crimes. “Where possible, efforts should be made to rehabilitate juvenile offenders and present an opportunity for youth to positively contribute to their communities upon release,” said Michigan Catholic Conference Vice President for Public Policy and Advocacy Tom Hickson. Read more…

Catholic Church in Michigan Stands Ready to Assist Refugees

This past weekend following the terrorist attacks overseas Governor Rick Snyder issued a directive suspending Michigan’s effort to accept new refugees to the state. Gov. Snyder highlighted his priority to “protect the safety of our residents” and that state leaders will be in dialogue with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security regarding security and future resettlement efforts. Michigan Catholic Conference President and CEO Paul A. Long responded today to the Governor’s direction by articulating the Church's readiness to continue assisting refugees and the most vulnerable once resettlement continues. Read more…

U.S. Supreme Court Will Hear Non-Profit Arguments Against HHS Mandate

This afternoon the United States Supreme Court announced it has agreed to hear arguments from non-profit religious organizations opposed to the mandated requirements of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to include morally objectionable services — including abortifacients and contraceptives — in their employee health benefit plan. As a separate litigant against the federal government on this matter, Michigan Catholic Conference offered the following response to today’s news from the Supreme Court: “We are very pleased that the nation’s highest court will hear from non-profit organizations as to how their First Amendment rights are being violated by this burdensome mandate. Michigan Catholic Conference looks forward to the day this matter is resolved in a manner that fully protects the rights of faith-based institutions to operate according to their conscience.” Read more…

Advocacy News

The Word from Lansing Column: Black History Month and the Need for Continued Dialogue

February is Black History Month. During these upcoming weeks, it is important to honor African Americans who have contributed to the building of a better society, as well as to reflect upon the larger issues of race and diversity. These issues have played a pivotal role in the United States throughout history and continue to influence the nation today. This month’s The Word from Lansing, Michigan Catholic Conference’s column for Catholic newspapers, first outlines the impact of black saints and African Americans on the U.S. Catholic Church. Institutions like the Knights of Peter Claver, Xavier University of Louisiana, and the National Black Catholic Congress provide three examples of how black Americans are leading and serving others with their faith daily. Additionally, the column highlights policies pursued by Michigan Catholic Conference and the U.S. Catholic Church, especially during the 1960s, to promote civil rights and contribute to a culture of justice, peace, and inclusion. Read more…

Michigan Legislature Passes Catholic Schools Week Resolutions

The Michigan Senate and House have each approved resolutions to recognize January 31–February 6 as Catholic Schools Week in the State of Michigan. Senate Resolution 135, sponsored by Senator Phil Pavlov (R-St. Clair), and House Resolution 210, sponsored by Representative Tim Kelly (R-Saginaw), outline the importance of values-based education, which can be found in the 228 Catholic elementary and high schools around the state. Currently, these schools serve 53,364 students, helping them to excel academically, spiritually, and socially. Catholic Schools Week is also supported nationally by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and the National Catholic Education Association (NCEA). Throughout the week, events in schools and dioceses around the country will highlight the benefits Catholic education provides for students, churches, communities, and the nation as a whole. This year’s theme is “Catholic Schools: Communities of Faith, Knowledge and Service.” Read more…

The Word from Lansing Column: Catholic Schools Contribute to Society

In the wake of the recent fiftieth anniversary of The Declaration on Christian Education and the approaching celebration of Catholic Schools Week from January 31–February 6, The Word from Lansing column this month articulates the value of faith-based education. While changes in education, especially in relation to technology, have impacted the way knowledge can be accessed and shared, the purpose of education as a vehicle for academic and social growth remains the same. Catholic education additionally is aimed at helping students recognize the gift of faith and teaching them to serve their community. As lawmakers discuss the best ways to meet the educational needs of Michigan residents, Michigan Catholic Conference continues to advocate for policies that allow parents educational options for their children and provide all children access to a quality education, regardless of what type of school they attend. Read more…

Lansing Update

Lansing Update, February 5, 2016

Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Legislation Heads to Full Senate; Senate Finance Committee Considers Charitable Donation, Adoption Tax Credits; Human Trafficking Hotline Posting Bill Continues to Full House; Measure Streamlines Process for Michigan to Accept Foreign Driver’s Licenses; The Word from Lansing Column: Black History Month and the Need for Continued Dialogue. Read more…

Lansing Update, January 29, 2016

Michigan Legislature Passes Resolutions to Recognize Catholic Schools Week; MCC Testifies On Measure to Permanently Prohibit State Funding of Abortion Providers; Senate Committee Considers Resolution on Halting Refugee Resettlement; Human Trafficking Posting Bill Supported by MCC in House Committee; Supplemental Aid for Flint Headed to Governor for Final Approval. Read more…

Lansing Update, January 22, 2016

Governor Snyder Delivers State of the State Address; Michigan Legislature Acts Quickly to Consider Aid for Flint; Bills Introduced to Address Detroit Public School Debt; Remembering 43 Years of Legalized Abortion. Read more…