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.

    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

    Michigan Prepares to Enact “Raise the Age” Legislation

    Two incarcerated young men lean against a chain link fence, staring into the distance

    Until recently, seventeen-year-olds arrested in this state had no option to receive juvenile justice services, even for first-time, non-violent offenses. Newly enacted “Raise the Age” laws, however, change the way these individuals are treated in Michigan’s criminal justice system. The Word from Lansing column for October reflects on the bipartisan measures, MCC’s advocacy in support of the package, and the importance of continued reform.

    EITC Extends a Helping Hand

    Concerned about their finances, a young couple try to reassure one another

    A state’s budget reflects how it cares for its citizens, especially those who are struggling. As lawmakers continue formulating the final 2019–2020 budget, Michigan Catholic Conference is advocating for the inclusion of policies that benefit low-income workers, such as the state Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). The Word from Lansing column for September address why the EITC matters and should be restored.

    End Dismemberment Abortion in Michigan

    An ultrasound of a baby in the womb

    Currently, a citizen’s initiative petition drive is underway to ban the brutal dismemberment abortion procedure, and the signatures of 400,000 registered Michigan voters are needed by December 26. In the drive’s first month, pro-life citizens ordered over 125,000 petitions, demonstrating wide support for the measure. The Word from Lansing column for August explains why the Michigan bishops encourage full participation in signature gathering efforts.

    Support the Dignity of Human Life

    Several pregnant women, smiling and holding their bellies

    Emerging public conversations regarding abortion have demonstrated the need to highlight the dignity of the human person. In The Word from Lansing July column, MCC offers several ideas for supporting pro-life values in the public realm: signing a statewide petition to end dismemberment abortion, assisting women in crisis pregnancies, attending pro-life events, and advocating on behalf of measures to protect women and children.

    Clean and Affordable Water for All

    Two young girls play in Lake Michigan while the sun sets behind them, outlining a lighthouse

    When it comes to issues surrounding water, safety and affordability are two primary concerns for the Catholic Church. In its June column of The Word from Lansing, MCC shares Church teaching on ensuring and providing access to safe, drinkable water for all people. The column also shares a number of examples of how Catholic groups and parishes have provided needed water support to those in need, especially during times of crisis.

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