In this update:
- Education Scholarship Petitions Garner More Than 1 Million Signatures
- State Recommends Approval of Abortion Proposal; Sign Up to Help Defeat It
Education Scholarship Petitions Garner More Than 1 Million Signatures
The petitions to create a student opportunity scholarship program for low-income students have been submitted to the state after accruing more than 1 million cumulative signatures and hundreds of thousands more than the minimum needed for approval.
The Let MI Kids Learn campaign — supported by Michigan’s Catholic bishops — circulated two petitions: One to create a student opportunity scholarship program and the other to set up a tax credit to fund the scholarships.
The campaign submitted more than 500,000 signatures for the first petition earlier this month to the state and followed up with more than 500,00 signatures submitted for the second petition just this week. The minimum number of valid signatures needed for each is just around 340,000 signatures.
The state will now review both petitions to determine if enough valid signatures were gathered. Once that is determined and the petitions are certified, they are first sent to the Legislature, where lawmakers can approve them directly without needing the Governor’s signature to make them law.
The Governor last year vetoed legislation very similar to the Let MI Kids Learn petitions after the Legislature sent her bills setting up the same scholarship program and corresponding tax credit. That’s what prompted the campaign to collect the signatures to enact the program through the citizens’ initiative process.
The petitions would set up a scholarship program that low-income families can apply to for education expenses for their children. The scholarships would be funded by donors who would receive a tax credit for their donation to the scholarships.
The Catholic bishops in Michigan supported the proposal because it would give parents more options and would provide low-income families with choice in their children’s education.
At the direction of the bishops, MCC coordinated the distribution of these petitions to Catholic parishes and schools for Catholics to sign and help collect signatures. We thank all Catholic parishes and schools who worked to get the word out about the petitions and Catholics who signed and circulated the petitions.
State Recommends Approval of Abortion Proposal; Sign Up to Help Defeat It
A state report this week concluded that the dangerous, anything-goes abortion amendment petition gathered enough signatures to qualify for the November ballot.
The state Bureau of Elections is recommending the state Board of Canvassers certify the so-called “Reproductive Freedom For All” petition for the November ballot. The Canvassers meet next Wednesday and are expected to vote on the matter.
The Bureau of Elections did not make a recommendation on the challenge filed to the language of the abortion petition, which pointed out dozens of instances of missing spaces that resulted in run-on words that would be placed into the state constitution.
The challenge was made by attorneys representing Citizens to Support MI Women & Children, the ballot committee dedicated to keeping the abortion amendment off the ballot.
While the Canvassers have not yet approved the proposal for the ballot, it’s imperative that every pro-life supporter get ready to oppose this proposal if it does make the ballot this November.
To that end, we continue to strongly encourage all Catholic Advocacy Network members to sign up to join Citizens to Support MI Women & Children so we can assemble the volunteers needed to knock on doors, make phone calls and engage in other efforts to defeat this radical abortion amendment.
We are thankful for your past advocacy efforts in making your voice heard on important legislative issues using the Catholic Advocacy Network platform. But the upcoming campaign to defeat this proposal aimed at enshrining unlimited, unregulated abortion may be the most important work yet, and so now is the time to get involved.
To sign up to join the campaign list to receive more information, we encourage you to visit the Citizens to Support MI Women & Children website.
If you haven't done so already, please join the Catholic Advocacy Network to receive regular public policy updates—including Lansing Update—via email. For other news and information, follow MCC on Twitter, like MCC on Facebook, or visit MCC’s webpage.