New Legislative Session
The 97th Legislature is gearing up and Michigan Family Forum is in the midst of the activity. While new lawmakers are still getting their bearings, committees are meeting, legislation is being voted on and our staff is actively participating in the process. “It’s exciting,” said Dan Jarvis, research and policy director at MFF, “we’re meeting new representatives and reconnecting with old friends now that the election and the holidays are behind us.” Michigan Family Forum is putting the final touches on their legislative “wish list” which will be posted on their website soon.
Grand Rapids Group to Push for Gay Marriage
A Grand Rapids-based group, Marriage Michigan PAC, plans to gather over 300,000 signatures to amend the state’s Constitution to permit gay marriage. In 2004, Michigan voters passed Proposal 2 defining marriage as a union between one man and one woman. While some polls show increasing support for gay marriage, the effort would face a steep uphill climb. The plan is not just a simple repeal of the previous Amendment, rather it is an about face to replace the ban with an Amendment to legalize same-sex marriage. Even supporters of gay marriage feel 2014 is too early for a ballot initiative, according to a recent article that appeared on mlive, a statewide news feed. Nonetheless, Equality Michigan is launching a statewide “education campaign” in order to prepare Michigan voters to support a measure in the future. To view a copy of the mlive article on the issue, click here:
Michigan House Republicans Release Policy Priorities
Republicans in the Michigan House of Representatives recently released their 2013-14 Action Plan outlining their priorities for this session. While much of the plan is focused on traditional issues such as jobs, education and transportation, the Action Plan also addresses adoption and prenatal care, two issues that Michigan Family Forum have long championed. Last year, the House held hearings on an MFF recommendation that families be allowed to count their unborn child as a dependent for tax purposes if the mother is receiving prenatal care. On the adoption front, Michigan Family forum has called for putative father registries, adoption incentives and streamlining the adoption process. All of these are included in the Action Plan. To view a copy of the Action Plan, click here:
Insurance “Rider” Required for Abortion Coverage
Senate Bills 137-38 will require that a “rider” be purchased with insurance policies if the client wants elective abortion to be a covered procedure. Under current law, abortion is generally covered by private insurance agencies. Many policy holders believe their insurance premiums are subsidizing abortions much the same way that tax dollars once covered Medicaid abortions. By requiring riders for abortion coverage, only abortion supporters would underwrite the costs of performing elective abortions. The bills are sponsored by Sen. Mark Jansen (R-Grand Rapids). To view a copy of SB 137, click here: