The Word from Lansing

The Word from Lansing is a regular column written by Michigan Catholic Conference (MCC) staff for Catholic news outlets. Through these columns, MCC outlines current advocacy issues of importance to the Conference and discusses the Catholic position and role in the political process. This publication complements the more regular updates provided by Michigan Catholic Conference’s Catholic Advocacy Network.

    Reflecting on Care for Our Common Home

    A smiling mother and father and their two children walk along a nature trail

    In May, Catholics celebrated the five-year anniversary of Pope Francis’s encyclical, Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home. The document called for people of faith to respect the dignity of nature and of all living creatures. The Word from Lansing column highlights several themes articulated in the encyclical, their relevance today, and resources to help Michigan Catholics live out this teaching.

    Living Care for One Another

    An illustration of diverse Michigan residents all wearing protective face masks

    Over the past few months, federal and state lawmakers have passed a variety of aid packages in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. These bills have included support for hospitals, food assistance, unemployment benefits, schools, and small businesses, among other aspects. The Word from Lansing for May explains the recent legislation, as well as encourages Michiganders to reflect upon their shared responsibility for one another.

    This Election Season, Civilize It

    Civilize It: Dignity Beyond the Debate

    The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has reemphasized the importance of civility and actions that care for one another. Leading up to the November election, Catholics will have many additional opportunities to exercise civility and care as they engage in discussions that are critical for the country. This election season, the U.S. bishops encourage participation in “Civilize It,” a nonpartisan campaign to treat all with dignity and kindness.

    Payday Lending and the Cycle of Poverty

    A couple worried about their finances

    A bill before state lawmakers would allow payday lenders to offer $2,500 loans, up from the $600 limit. During this difficult time of the Coronavirus outbreak, MCC remains concerned about HB 5097, which would trap struggling Michiganders in a cycle of debt. The Word from Lansing highlights issues with expanding payday lending, as well as the importance of focusing on alternatives that improve financial literacy.

    2020 Census—Counting Our Communities

    A crowd of people walking down the street

    Beginning in March, individuals across the country will participate in a national census. The 2020 Census will set Michigan’s representation in the U.S. House of Representatives, guide emergency preparedness planning, and determine how much federal funding is allocated to communities for the next decade. The Word from Lansing column for February highlights the upcoming Census and the importance of being counted.

    Censo de 2020—Contando Nuestras Comunidades

    Empezando en marzo, los habitantes a lo largo y ancho del país participaran en el censo nacional. El Censo de 2020 determinará la representación de Michigan en la Cámara de Representantes, guiará una planificación de preparación para emergencias y determinará la cantidad de aportación financiera federal que se distribuirá a las comunidades para la próxima década. La Palabra de Lansing en su columna de febrero destaca el censo y la importancia de ser contado.

    Patience and Persistence: Advocacy Successes in 2019

    A woman comforts her friend

    The beginning of January marks the halfway point of the 2019–2020 state legislative session. While the process of making good public policy is gradual and there is much work left to be done, MCC celebrates several recent advocacy successes at the State Capitol. The Word from Lansing column highlights successful efforts regarding juvenile justice reform, the protection of human life, and suicide prevention.

    Revenge is Not the Answer

    The sun rising from behind a cloud

    Michigan is known as the first government in the English-speaking world and first American state to abolish the death penalty. While Michigan’s constitutional ban remains in effect, the U.S. Department of Justice recently announced it would resume the death penalty for federal crimes. The Word from Lansing column for December examines the new federal policy and why it is the wrong response for America.

    Safe Delivery Law Saves Michigan Newborns

    An overwhelmed mother bottle-feeding her newborn baby

    At least 241 babies have been saved in this state over the past two decades, thanks to Michigan’s Safe Delivery of Newborns Law. Public Act 232 of 2000 allows for parents to surrender anonymously and voluntarily their newborn child—up to three days old—to an emergency service provider without fear of legal charges. Michigan enacted the Safe Delivery Law, with the support of Michigan Catholic Conference (MCC) and Right to Life of Michigan, to protect newborns from being abandoned or otherwise harmed

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