Lansing Update: June 5, 2015
Posted June 5, 2015
- MCC Testifies on Behalf of EITC, Action Needed to Protect This Vital Anti-Poverty Tool
- Michigan Legislature Approves Final Budget Proposals, Now Await Governor’s Signature
- Expanded Shared Time Services Bill Continues to Full Michigan House
MCC Testifies on Behalf of EITC, Action Needed to Protect This Vital Anti-Poverty Tool
On Wednesday, June 3, the Michigan Roads and Economic Development Committee approved a measure that would eliminate the state Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) in an effort to find additional funding to fix Michigan’s roads and transportation infrastructure. The state Earned Income Tax Credit is a credit worth six percent of the federal EITC for low-income workers. Michigan Catholic Conference testified against House Bill 4609, highlighting the benefits of the state EITC:
“Michigan’s elected officials know a solution is needed to fix the state’s infrastructure, with varying proposals and ideas continuing to come forward since the May 5 special election. While their effort to fix the roads is encouraged, Michigan Catholic Conference opposes efforts to generate revenue for these repairs by eliminating the state Earned Income Tax Credit. The roads are in crisis, yet poverty continues to remain a significant concern as, for example, Michigan ranks 35th among states with nearly 25 percent of our children living in poverty. The state EITC is a proven tax policy that gives low-income workers and their families a hand up, not a hand out. As conversations about state funding for road repairs move forward, Michigan Catholic Conference urges elected officials to hold the state’s EITC harmless.”
Hundreds of messages have already been sent to the Michigan House of Representatives in opposition to House Bill 4609. If you haven’t done so yet, please click here to take action. By clicking on the link, you can now also send a message to your State Senator. The Senate is currently discussing its road funding plan, and it is important to make sure the EITC is protected. Thank you for your action.
Michigan Legislature Approves Final Budget Proposals, Now Await Governor’s Signature
This week, the Michigan House and Senate each approved the final state budget bills, Senate Bill 133 and House Bill 4115, to provide funding for the 2015–2016 year beginning in October. Senate Bill 133 includes $38.6 billion in funding for the various departments of the state. It was approved by a 22–16 vote in the Senate and a 70–39 bipartisan vote in the House. House Bill 4115 provides $15.8 billion in funding for schools, higher education, and community colleges. The Senate approved the proposal with a 24–14 vote, and the House approved the proposal with a bipartisan 99–10 vote. The governor is expected to sign the final versions of these budgets, which retained the funding for MCC-priority programs mentioned in last week’s Lansing Update.
Expanded Shared Time Services Bill Continues to Full Michigan House
On Thursday, June 4, the House Education Committee unanimously approved a bill that would extend shared time services, which are already available to 1–12 grade, to kindergarteners. These services have been critical to non-public and homeschool students, allowing them the opportunity take additional non-core courses through the public school that would otherwise not be offered. Michigan Catholic Conference testified on behalf of the legislation on May 21, as mentioned in a previous Lansing Update. House Bill 4594, sponsored by Representative Ed McBroom (R-Vulcan), continues next to the House floor for further consideration.
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