News Releases

    MCC Applauds Senate for Catholic School Funding

    The front of a school building in spring

    Michigan Catholic Conference is expressing its gratitude to the Michigan Senate today for passing legislation that appropriates some $87 million in federal dollars to assist Catholic and other nonpublic schools in the state with costs associated with the COVID pandemic.

    Michigan Bishops Revise Statement to Address Moral Dimensions of New Johnson & Johnson Vaccine

    Conceptual image of a COVID-19 vaccination record card, disposable face mask, and hypodermic needle.

    In December of 2020, in the midst of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Catholic bishops in Michigan provided insights about the benefit of vaccinations for public health outcomes. The bishops also addressed moral questions for Catholics about the COVID-19 vaccines available at the time: Pfizer and Moderna. With the introduction of a new option from Johnson & Johnson that is now available in the state, the Michigan bishops have revised their statement to share moral concerns with the vaccine’s design, production, development and testing.

    Legislature Urged to Fund Health and Safety Program for Nonpublic Schools

    MCC Hopeful Biden Administration Will Allocate Federal EANS Dollars to Michigan for COVID-Related Nonpublic School Expenses

    Four children wearing protective masks and school uniforms walking in single file

    Following the Fiscal Year 2022 Executive Budget Recommendation presentation before state lawmakers, Michigan Catholic Conference is encouraging the Legislature to appropriate funding to reimburse nonpublic schools for complying with health and safety requirements mandated by the State of Michigan, as Governor Whitmer’s budget proposal does not fund the existing policy. At the same time, MCC is hopeful that $86 million in federal dollars will be approved shortly to assist Michigan nonpublic schools with COVID-related expenses.

    Michigan Supreme Court Upholds Appropriation to Nonpublic Schools

    Court of Claims Must Now Finalize Review in Light of Court of Appeals’ Previous Ruling

    A young girl raises her hand to answer a question in a classroom full of students

    The Michigan Supreme Court on Dec. 28 issued a split 3-3 ruling that will require the state Court of Claims to finalize review of a now-constitutional state appropriation that reimburses nonpublic schools for costs associated with state-mandated health and safety mandates. Michigan Catholic Conference has supported the reimbursement policy for at least three legislative sessions and is now encouraging the Court of Claims to move quickly in order for the funds to be reimbursed.

    Michigan Strengthens Water Protections for Citizens

    Legislation Will Ensure State Residents Do Not Lose Access to a Basic Human Right

    A young boy drinking water directly from the kitchen faucet

    Legislation that would prohibit public water suppliers from shutting off water to residents for nonpayment has been signed into law and will protect residents through March 3, 2021. Michigan Catholic Conference supported the measure, sponsored by Senator Stephanie Chang (D-Detroit) as it moved through the legislative process. According to a release from MCC after the bill was enacted, “The new Act will ensure that no Michigan resident, particularly those who are low-income or facing imminent financial hardship, will lose the ability to wash, drink, or cook for their family during the ongoing pandemic.”

    Michigan Bishops Share Moral Considerations Regarding COVID-19 Vaccines

    A man wearing a protective facemask receiving a vaccination shot from his doctor

    As the immunization process has begun across the country in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Michigan bishops are addressing moral questions that have arisen about the Pfizer, Moderna, and AstraZeneca vaccines. While the three options are in various phases of use and development, the bishops have written that “it is morally permissible to receive the vaccines developed by Pfizer and Moderna”, especially in light of the “serious health risks” that “are present due to the current pandemic.” The bishops also have reaffirmed the Catholic responsibility to call for vaccines that have no connection to abortion.

    ‘Blaine Amendment’ Should Not Exclude Health and Safety Protections for All Students

    Oral Arguments Before Michigan Supreme Court Urge Equal Protection for Students Enrolled in Michigan’s Nonpublic Schools

    A smiling teacher helps one of her students with a tablet

    The Michigan Supreme Court will hear oral arguments this afternoon regarding a state policy supported by MCC to reimburse nonpublic schools for dozens of state-mandated expenses that include protections for safe water, lock-down training and immunization records, among others. At issue is whether or not Article 8, Section 2 of the Michigan Constitution (known as the “Blaine Amendment”) approved at the ballot in 1970 allows for the state to reimburse nonpublic schools for expenses unrelated to education, instruction or curriculum.

    Governor’s Veto of Health and Safety Line-Item Neither Just Nor Fair

    A young girl wearing a school uniform and protective mask sits in class while her teacher writes “Back to school” on the chalkboard.

    Today Governor Gretchen Whitmer vetoed from the state’s 2020–2021 fiscal year budget a $100 placeholder that would fund an appropriation to reimburse nonpublic schools for health and safety regulations mandated by the State of Michigan. Michigan Catholic Conference responded with the comments below, stating that while the veto was expected, “just and fair, it certainly was not.”

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