News Release: Governor’s Budget Applauded for EITC Increase, Yet Cuts to Pro-Life and Nonpublic School Policies Should be Reinstated

A photo taken at dusk of the Michigan Capitol building

March 5, 2019

(Lansing, Mich.) — Michigan Catholic Conference offers the following comments regarding today’s 2019–2020 Executive State Budget Recommendation presented by Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Budget Director Chris Kolb to a joint meeting of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees:

“As an organization that worked diligently to create the state Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) in 2006 and fought for its preservation in 2011, Michigan Catholic Conference applauds the governor’s recommendation to double the credit to 12 percent of the federal EITC. MCC will support legislative efforts to meet if not exceed the governor’s proposed EITC increase which, by all accounts, does more to lift the working poor out of poverty than any other policy.

“Regrettably, in the same proposal, Governor Whitmer has recommended cutting state funding to the Michigan Pregnancy and Parenting Support Services program, which supports women in crisis pregnancies from conception until the child’s first birthday. This policy is effective toward reducing abortions in Michigan while providing necessary material and parenting support to low-income women. Cutting funding for this policy is counter-productive toward helping vulnerable women care for themselves and their unborn or newborn child.

“Unfortunately, the governor has also proposed eliminating reimbursements to nonpublic schools for complying with mandates from the state for the health, safety, and general welfare of students. And, while MCC appreciates funding for the dual enrollment program, the governor has also proposed eliminating grants for nonpublic school student participation in the state’s First Robotics program while maintaining funding for public school students. Safe learning environments and encouraging students to be future scientists and engineers should not depend on where one attends school.

“By calling attention to the need for clean water in Michigan (and MCC would strongly encourage efforts to make clean water affordable for all), increasing the state EITC, and allocating funding to the dual enrollment program — there are positive elements to the governor’s first budget. However, MCC will advocate for funding to the Parenting Support Program, assistance to nonpublic school students for the Robotics program, and reimbursements for complying with health and safety mandates.”

Michigan Catholic Conference is the official public policy voice of the Catholic Church in this state.

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