- 2015–2016 State Budget Almost Final
- MCC Will Testify Against Bill Eliminating Earned Income Tax Credit
- The Word from Lansing Column Highlights Foster Care Awareness Month
- Spanish Resources Now Available on Michigan Celebrates Marriage Website
2015–2016 State Budget Almost Final
This week, a majority of Michigan’s departmental budget proposals were approved by conference committees, which are assembled to work out differing funding policies between the Senate and House of Representatives. Here are the funding levels for MCC-priority programs from the signed conference committee reports:
- Real Alternatives
- $50,000 of new funding was approved in the Department of Community Health budget proposal, which will be combined with 800,000 in carry-over funds to provide alternatives to abortion for women in crisis pregnancies.
- Dual Enrollment
- $1.5 million has been included in the General Government budget proposal for non-public school students to obtain college credits while still in high school.
- Tuition Incentive Program
- $48.5 million has been included in the Higher Education budget proposal to assist Medicaid recipients to attend public or independent colleges.
- Tuition Grant Program
- $33.5 million has been included in the Higher Education budget proposal to help low-income individuals attend one of Michigan’s independent colleges or universities.
- Per Diem Rates for Private Foster Care Agencies
- Funding has been included to retain the per diem administrative rate for private foster care agencies, such as Catholic Charities, at $40 in the Department of Human Services budget proposal.
- Human Trafficking Intervention Services
- $200,000 has been included for human trafficking intervention services in the Department of Community Health budget proposal.
Both the Senate and House will vote on final conference reports before next year’s budget is sent to Governor Snyder for his review.
MCC Will Testify Against Bill Eliminating Earned Income Tax Credit
The Michigan Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) allows for low-income workers to claim on their state income taxes a credit worth six percent of the federal EITC. Michigan Catholic Conference has supported the state EITC since its creation in 2006 as a means to offer a hand up to low-income workers and their families. The federal EITC has been in the tax code since 1975 and was strongly supported by President Reagan and his successor presidents. House Bill 4609 seeks to eliminate the state EITC as a means to generate revenue for infrastructure and road repairs. Michigan Catholic Conference does not support eliminating the EITC and will be testifying against the legislation on Tuesday in the House Roads and Economic Development Committee.
The Word from Lansing Column Highlights Foster Care Awareness Month
Michigan Catholic Conference’s column this month for Catholic news outlets, The Word from Lansing, focuses on promoting awareness about the 13,000 children in foster care and those individuals and agencies who care for them. These children have faced abuse, trauma, and neglect and are looking for safe environments before either reunifying with their biological family or receiving an alternative placement. For those who are interested in learning more about becoming a foster or adoptive parent or other ways to help these children, visit www.michigan.gov/hopeforahome. To read the column, click here.
Spanish Resources Now Available on Michigan Celebrates Marriage Website
Michigan Celebrates Marriage, the website created to promote the Catholic Church’s teaching on marriage during the Year for Marriage, now has material available in Spanish, including videos, articles, and bulletin announcements. Please check out www.michigancelebramatrimonio.com to view these resources.
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