House Human Services Budget Cuts “Unacceptable”
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Lansing)—Michigan Catholic Conference, the official public policy voice of the Catholic Church in this state, today released a statement addressing legislation passed by the House Appropriations DHS Subcommittee that would significantly gut the children’s clothing allowance, and substantially reduce the State Disability Assistance Program.
According to the DHS budget passed by the House subcommittee, the children’s clothing allowance would be substantially reduced from $12.8 million per year to $2.8 million per year while the disability assistance program would be reduced from a $269 monthly allotment to $175 per month. The Conference’s statement is as follows:
“What passed out of House DHS late this afternoon is unacceptable and would only create greater hardships for the poor and disadvantaged children and disabled persons across the state,” said Michigan Catholic Conference Vice President for Public Policy Tom Hickson. “Both of these policies were created in the 1990s to offer necessary assistance to the most vulnerable and those incapable of working when Governor John Engler reformed the General Assistance program. In the last legislative session, after Governor Granholm proposed cutting by half the clothing allowance, the Republican Legislature reinserted the funding. While the House DHS subcommittee’s plans to use the $10 million to increase the Family Independence Program grant income disregard by $4,000 is admirable, the fact is that those funds are being taken from poor and disadvantaged children.
“Michigan Catholic Conference will continue to advocate for funding for these long-standing policies as the House DHS budget, as well as the Senate DHS budget, moves through the legislative process. The Catholic Conference also urges members of the committee to pass policies that do no further harm to those who are already suffering. There is no reason why the state’s most destitute and neediest citizens should be responsible for setting straight the state’s fiscal problems.”
Michigan Catholic Conference is the official public policy voice of the Catholic Church in this state.