News Release: Catholic Conference Comments on Laws that Promote and Protect Dignity of Life and Work Following Governor’s Address

MCC Urges Legislative Support for Gun Control, Increase to EITC Tax Policy

An aerial view of the Michigan State Capitol building.

January 25, 2023

(Lansing, Mich.) — Laws that promote and protect human life and dignity are necessary to advance the common good in the state, Michigan Catholic Conference stated this evening following Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s State of the State Address.

In her comments before a joint meeting of the House of Representatives and State Senate, the governor called for legislation to protect children from gun violence and urged an increase to a state tax policy that aids low-income workers in Michigan. The social teachings of the Catholic Church are based on the foundational principle that all human life — from conception through natural death — is valued and is deserving of dignity.

“Common sense gun control policies that include locking away a firearm to protect children or other vulnerable persons from harm or even death are necessary in Michigan,” said Paul Long, Michigan Catholic Conference President and CEO. “Too often we see on television or read online about children or other young adults who too easily accessed a gun that, in the end, regrettably took the life of another. The unnecessary killing of innocent persons by way of irresponsible gun ownership or ease-of-access must come to an end.”

Along with policies that seek to protect communities from gun violence, the governor urged the Michigan Legislature to pass a bill that would increase the state Earned Income Tax Credit (also known as the Working Families Tax Credit), which is both a state and federal tax policy that allows low-income workers to keep more of the money they earn through employment. Michigan allows workers to claim six percent of the federal EITC on their state tax returns, whereas legislation supported by Michigan Catholic Conference would increase the state credit to 30 percent of the federal credit.

“We can and should do more through state tax policy to assist and recognize the dignity of low-income workers who are doing their best to stay employed, pay the bills, and take care of their families,” said Long, MCC President and CEO. “Since the early 2000s MCC has led the efforts for both the creation and protection of the EITC. We are excited to be working with lawmakers from both sides of the political aisle to increase this incentive to work and help those who are making strides to free themselves and their children from poverty.”

Michigan Catholic Conference is the official public policy voice of the Catholic Church in this state.

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