Lansing Update: September 20, 2013
- MCC Testifies in Favor of Conscience Protections for Adoption Agencies
- Abortion Insurance Opt-Out Needs Final Push, Deadline Set for Signatures
- International Day of Prayer and Action for Human Habitat Coming October 6
- U.S. House of Representatives Passes Cuts to Food Assistance
MCC Testifies in Favor of Conscience Protections for Adoption Agencies
The House Families, Children, and Seniors Committee once again considered the topic of conscience protections for faith-based adoption agencies, hearing testimony from Michigan Catholic Conference and representatives from St. Vincent Catholic Charities in support of House Bills 4927 and 4928. Michigan Catholic Conference is supporting the legislation in order to ensure that faith-based child placement organizations are able to operate according to their own conscience rather than the dictates of the state. The bills would also ensure that the decades long relationship between private agencies and the State of Michigan continues well into the future on behalf of Michigan’s children and most vulnerable families. The excerpt of testimony below was provided by Michigan Catholic Conference staff to the committee.
“Having a diverse set of non-profit agencies work with the state helps the state reduce its burden and more importantly, helps the state achieve great outcomes for kids in the area of child placement. For local communities, non-profits, especially faith based ones, have an impact that is long lasting and wide reaching, often going into programs such as soup kitchens, drug and alcohol addiction, homelessness and others. Naturally faith-based entities incorporate and reflect their church’s teachings and values. This must be protected… House Bills 4927 and 4928 support our basic Jeffersonian and bedrock American constitutional principle that religious faith-based agencies should be allowed to govern themselves without governmental interference. We urge you to support these bills and vote them favorably to the floor of the House of Representatives.”
The committee is expected to vote on the legislation next week, which will then be sent to the full House of Representatives for its consideration. If you have yet to do so, please contact your State Representative [Link no longer available —Ed.] to encourage support for this important religious liberty bill.
Abortion Insurance Opt-Out Needs Final Push, Deadline Set for Signatures
Thanks to the work of pro-life volunteers, parishes, and individuals, No Taxes for Abortion Insurance has surpassed the 258,088 signatures required for the abortion insurance opt-out petition [Link no longer available —Ed.]. The goal of this petition is to prevent taxpayers from paying for abortions on the federal exchange and in private insurance. To ensure this petition is successful and to protect against any errors, supporters are gathering additional names through the end of this month. Please make sure any further signatures wishing to be counted are post-marked by Monday, September 30. Michigan Catholic Conference appreciates all those who have contributed to the success of this effort.
International Day of Prayer and Action for Human Habitat Coming October 6
On October 6, Habitat for Humanity is observing the “International Day of Prayer and Action for Human Habitat” to pray for housing for the poor. The goal of the day is to have 1,000,000 people in the state of Michigan praying for this cause. Congregations from many denominations are participating, including the American Baptist Churches of Michigan, the Bishops of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, and the Michigan Area of the United Methodist Church, and Michigan Catholic Conference encourages Catholics to participate as well. To learn more or to find resources for the day, visit http://habitatmichigan.org/resources [Link no longer available —Ed.].
U.S. House of Representatives Passes Cuts to Food Assistance
The U.S. House of Representatives voted yesterday in favor of a nutrition bill (H.R. 3102) that included $40 billion in cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Earlier this year, the House removed SNAP funding from the Farm Bill in order to consider the program separately. The cuts included in this legislation will remove 4 to 6 million vulnerable children and adults from the program. At a time of continued high unemployment, these harmful cuts and changes will increase hunger among children, poor families, vulnerable seniors, and workers who are underemployed or unable to find employment. Your continued action will be needed through the Catholic Advocacy Network as the legislation is considered by the U.S. Senate. Stay tuned for further developments as they are available.
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