Lansing Update: October 23, 2015

  1. Homestead Property Tax Credit Bills Continue Forward
  2. MCC Submits Written Testimony on Dismemberment Abortion Bills
  3. Pregnancy and Parenting Support Program Going Statewide

Homestead Property Tax Credit Bills Continue Forward

This week, the House Tax Policy Committee approved a bill to adjust the Homestead Property Tax Credit annually based on the rate of inflation. Among other factors, Michigan residents are eligible to claim the credit if their household resources are below $50,000 and, if they own their home, the taxable valuable of their home is less than $135,000. The proposed inflationary increase is based on increases in the U.S. Consumer Price Index. If signed into law, House Bill 4871 would take effect for the 2016 tax year. The bill, sponsored by Representative Martin Howrylak (R-Troy), now awaits consideration from the full House of Representatives. MCC released the following statement in support of the bill after it passed the committee:

“This is good tax policy that addresses the economic reality for Michigan’s low-income families and senior citizens. Each year people see their day to day costs rise due to inflation; this policy addresses those increases and provides relief for those who experience daily the hardships of a strained family budget. House Bill 4871 is a welcome step toward recognizing the dignity of lower-income residents and seniors.”

Another bill of interest for low-income families is House Bill 4370, which would expand eligibility for the Homestead Property Tax Credit to those with household resources up to $60,000. This measure, sponsored by Representative Holly Hughes (R-Montague), passed the House as part of a larger package of bills aimed at addressing funding for Michigan’s roads.

MCC Submits Written Testimony on Dismemberment Abortion Bills

Michigan Catholic Conference submitted written testimony this week in support of legislation banning a later-term abortion procedure which involves dismembering living babies in the womb. House Bills 4833 and 4834, sponsored by Representative Laura Cox (R-Livonia), amend the current state ban on the partial-birth abortion procedure to include dismemberment abortion, also referred to as Dilation and Evacuation (D&E). Staff testimony focused especially on the risks the procedure and late-term abortions pose to women, physically and emotionally. The bills were considered last week in the House Criminal Justice Committee but no vote has yet been taken.

Pregnancy and Parenting Support Program Going Statewide

Over the past several years, Michigan Catholic Conference staff has advocated for and welcomed funding in the state budget for the Michigan Pregnancy and Parenting Support Services Program. This program assists women in unexpected or crisis pregnancies with counseling and other support services, through twelve months after the birth of their baby. The program qualifies existing pregnancy resource centers, social service and adoption agencies, as well as maternity homes throughout the state. Qualified service providers then counsel women, provide prenatal health information, parenting support and education, and clothing, diapers and formula. While the Pregnancy and Parenting Support Services program started in the southern part of the state due to limited funding, the legislature and Governor Snyder have approved additional funding for the program to go statewide. It is now working to partner with organizations all across Michigan to promote alternatives to abortion. Women experiencing an unexpected pregnancy are encouraged to call the statewide hotline number, 1-888-LIFE-AID.

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