News Release: Following State of the State Address, Catholic Conference Urges Priority on Families
State Budget Should Pave the Way for Long-Term Stability, Particularly for Low-Income Households, says MCC President and CEO
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 24, 2024
(Lansing, Mich.) — Public policies and budget proposals forthcoming from the Executive Office and Legislature should provide economic relief and reasonable tax policies to benefit low-income workers and families now and into the future, Michigan Catholic Conference stated this evening following Governor Whitmer’s sixth State of the State Address from the State Capitol in Lansing.
“Families are the cornerstone of society and should be a priority when developing state fiscal policy. Policymakers and elected officials would do well to craft budget proposals and public policies that pave a long-term path of stability for men and women working low- and middle-income jobs while caring for themselves and their children,” said Paul Long, Michigan Catholic Conference President and CEO.
Measures that would promote the dignity of life for low-income workers and families, potential adoptive parents, seniors, and the disabled include:
- Supporting working parents of young children through a means-based Working Parents Tax Credit. The policy proposes a $5,000 refundable tax credit for Earned Income Tax Credit-qualifying parents of any child under the age of three, and a $2,500 credit per child between ages three and five.
- Providing financial assistance or tax relief to parents who would otherwise struggle to afford the costs that come with the process of adopting a child.
- Supporting parents and their newborn child(ren) with financial and well-being services by expanding the Flint-based Rx Kids program.
- Recognizing the challenge low-income families face to secure basic human needs by increasing access to affordable housing across the state.
- Emphasizing the dignity of disabled and elderly persons and their need for in-home caregivers by providing financial incentives or grants to assist those who provide health and wellness care.
“While some may correctly note that spending priorities and tax policies designed to support working families do not come free, it is necessary to remind policymakers and elected officials that the state budget is a moral statement, one that places people first and ensures low-income workers and families benefit from funding priorities and economic decisions in the years to come,” Long continued.
“The upcoming state budget process is the time and place to address economic challenges for struggling families and individuals. A concerted and successful effort to put families first through the budget process would help grow the economy, resuscitate the state’s upside-down birth rate, and lift the standard of living for low- and middle-income families, thereby contributing to the state’s overall population and prosperity.
“Michigan has an abundance of resources to offer families that are already here and those who may be considering moving to the state. Michigan Catholic Conference is eager to collaborate with lawmakers from both parties to support life-affirming policies crafted to stabilize financial security for working families and their children.”
Michigan Catholic Conference is the official public policy voice of the Catholic Church in this state.
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