Lansing Update: January 31, 2014
Posted January 30, 2014
- Catholics Schools Week Celebrates Achievements of Catholic Education
- Senate Committee Approves Legislation Connecting Human Trafficking Victims to Services
- Governor to Present Budget Recommendations Next Week
Catholics Schools Week Celebrates Achievements of Catholic Education
Two weeks ago, the Michigan House of Representatives passed a resolution recognizing January 26, 2014–February 1, 2014 as Catholic Schools Week in this state. On Tuesday, January 28, the Michigan Senate followed suit and passed a similar measure. According to the Senate Resolution:
“Whereas, There are 54,832 students attending 234 Catholic elementary and high schools throughout our great state; and Whereas, The Constitution of Michigan states: ‘Religion, morality and knowledge being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged’; and Whereas, Catholic schools provide young people with a strong foundation of values and academic skills needed to become responsible citizens of our state and nation… the members of this legislative body declare January 26–February 1, 2014, as Catholic Schools Week in the state of Michigan. We recognize the great accomplishments and contributions of Catholic schools in and to our state.”
In honor of the week, whose theme is Catholic Schools: Communities of Faith, Knowledge, and Service, Catholic schools across the state celebrated with masses, open houses, and other activities for students, families, parishioners, and community members. Additionally, the Detroit News published an article [Link no longer available —Ed.] from Michigan Catholic Conference regarding the importance of true educational choice, and the National Catholic Educational Association released a video outlining the importance of celebrating Catholic schools.
Senate Committee Approves Legislation Connecting Human Trafficking Victims to Services
The Senate Committee on Families, Seniors, and Human Services considered legislation this week, including measures that would connect victims of human trafficking with the services they need, such as medical care and counseling. After experiences such as labor or sex trafficking, victims often need short-term care to address their physical needs as well as long-term care to help them cope with their trauma. It is important for Michigan to make a commitment to apprehend traffickers, as well as to support victims through their recovery. This legislation now awaits action from the full Senate.
Governor to Present Budget Recommendations Next Week
On Wednesday, February 5, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder will present his recommendations for the Fiscal Year 2015 (October 2014–September 2015) state budget to the House and Senate Appropriations Committees, which will then compile their own budget proposals for further consideration. Michigan Catholic Conference will be paying particular attention to the funding of health care services and programs that assist the poor and most vulnerable in Michigan throughout the budget process. Expect further updates in the coming weeks as they are available.
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