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.

    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.

    Religious Agencies Are Vital Resources for State’s Children

    A young child's hands holding a drawing of a house and family

    For decades, Michigan has partnered with a diverse array of agencies—including faith-based—to provide excellent foster care and adoption services. This system has helped to recruit new families and to foster greater community outreach. The Word from Lansing delves into a recent State settlement that harms the work of faith-based child placement agencies, as well as two lawsuits that fight back to preserve critical services for children and families in need.

    Standing Against Religious Bigotry

    Close-up of a woman's hands as she prays the rosary

    The Catholic Church strongly believes in protecting religious freedom, not just for Catholics but also for those of other faiths—or no faith at all. An important component in this protection is also standing up against incidents of religious bigotry in society. The Word from Lansing for April shares examples of religious bigotry today and encourages people of goodwill to instead take the lead in fostering a climate of respect and religious tolerance.

    Prioritizing the Vulnerable in the State Budget

    Two young children smiling and studying a book at school

    On March 5, Governor Gretchen Whitmer and State Budget Director Chris Kolb presented their Executive State Budget Recommendations for the 2019-2020 Fiscal Year. These recommendations included several positive elements, including a doubling of the state Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). The Word from Lansing from MCC delves further into these elements, as well as budget items not included in the governor’s proposal but that MCC will continue to advocate for during the budget process.

    Pushing Back Against Racism

    A young African-American man reads the Bible
    Photo by CNS photo/Bob RollerPhoto credit

    In November 2018, USCCB approved a pastoral statement on racism: “Open Wide Our Hearts: The Enduring Call to Love.” This statement offers Catholic teaching and recommended actions for addressing the sin of racism. MCC’s The Word from Lansing column for February shares more from this document, as well as lessons that prominent African-American Catholics offer to the Church.

    2019–2020: A Blueprint for the Common Good

    The interior of the dome at the Michigan State Capitol building

    Ten advocacy principles will guide staff in the 2019–2020 state legislative session: human life and dignity, preferential option for the poor and regulatory policies, religious liberty, education, children and families, health care, restorative justice, immigration and refugees, care for creation, and select federal issues. In The Word from Lansing column for this month, MCC delves further into the importance of engagement, advocacy, and collaboration, guided by these principles.

  1. 3
  2. 4
  3. 5
  4. Page 6
  5. 7
  6. 8
  7. 9