Lansing Update: “Supplemental Includes Funding for Trafficking Victims, Nonpublic Schools” and more…

Supplemental Includes Funding for Trafficking Victims, Nonpublic Schools

This week, the Michigan Legislature considered two supplemental budget bills, which will help fill in needed funding for the rest of the October 2019-September 2020 Fiscal Year. Senate Bill 151, sponsored by Senate Appropriations Chair Jim Stamas (R-Midland), passed both chambers and includes funding for human trafficking survivors and the state’s response to the Coronavirus. It will now go before Governor Whitmer. Specifically, this measure includes:

The second supplemental bill, Senate Bill 373, passed the House but requires another vote in the Senate. While it is likely to be approved soon, lawmakers held off on passing the measure in case more funding is needed for the Coronavirus response. SB 373 currently includes priority budget items for nonpublic schools, which are strongly supported by Michigan Catholic Conference (MCC). This bill, also sponsored by Senator Stamas, provides:

Funding Allocated to Combat Coronavirus in Michigan; Schools to Close

Following the state’s first confirmed cases, Michigan lawmakers also approved $25 million in emergency response funding to combat the Coronavirus (COVID-19), a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. Of that amount, $10 million will be allocated to state preparedness and response activities, including monitoring, laboratory testing, tracing contacts that people with the virus have had, infection control, and continuation of critical state government activities, including the state’s emergency crisis center. The remaining $15 million will be deposited in a Coronavirus Response Fund to be used in the future as other costs are identified. Additionally, Governor Whitmer announced this week that all K-12 schools (public and nonpublic) will be closed from Monday, March 16 through Sunday, April 5 in an effort to slow the spread of the Coronavirus in Michigan. In a statement, the governor said:

“This is a necessary step to protect our kids, our families, and our overall public health. I am working with partners across state government to ensure educators, parents, and students have the support they need during this time, and to ensure our children who rely on school for meals have access to food. I know this will be a tough time, but we’re doing this to keep the most people we can safe. I urge everyone to make smart choices during this time.”

More information on the virus and tips for reducing its spread can be found at and

Resolution Declares Pornography a Public Health Crisis

House Concurrent Resolution 14, sponsored by Representative Julie Calley (R-Portland), recognizes pornography as a public health crisis. The resolution states that pornography “leads to a broad spectrum of societal harms” and “requires education, prevention, research, and policy change at the community and society level.” This week, the House Health Policy Committee heard testimony on the HCR 14. Resolutions are non-binding, which means they do not have the force of law. However, they do play an important role in the policy process by raising awareness among the general public and by signaling topics of priority to the state. MCC supports this effort, which shines a light on the destructive nature of pornography, as well as its connection to sex trafficking, prostitution, and abuse. No vote was taken this week. If approved by both chambers, a copy will be sent to the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate.

Public Policy Day Highlights Critical Education Issues

Nonpublic school educators from across the state participated in Public Policy Day at the State Capitol on Thursday, March 12. This event was sponsored by the Michigan Association of Non-public Schools (MANS), with MCC staff assisting educators with state legislative meetings. During these meetings, participants asked their state lawmakers to include the following items in the 2020-2021 state budget:

Unfortunately, each of these items was either not included in the governor’s 2020-2021 budget recommendations or did not extend to nonpublic schools. As lawmakers prepare their recommendations, however, MCC is hopeful these items will be added into the final budget proposal.

Photo: State Representative Aaron Miller (R-Sturgis) addresses principals at MANS Public Policy Day.

2020 Census: It’s Critical, Convenient, and Confidential

From March until July, Michiganders will participate in the 2020 Census. This process is critical for Michigan, as it determines federal funding for local communities and the state’s representation in government. Responding to the questions is more convenient than ever as people can respond one of three ways (by mail, phone, or online) and all information gathered will be kept confidential and secure. An invitation to record your responses should come from the federal government in the next several weeks (by latest April 1). Learn more at and