A Bad Day For Michigan's Families & Children

LANSING - The Michigan League for Public Policy issued the following statement on the House vote to eliminate the Michigan Earned Income Tax Credit, and the Senate's approval of a package of bills allowing agencies to deny adoptive and foster placements based on religious beliefs. The statement was made by League Vice President Karen Holcomb-Merrill.

"This was not a banner day for Michigan's children and families who were beat up in both the House and Senate. We are greatly disappointed in the representatives who voted to raise taxes on Michigan's most vulnerable working families, and we are fearful for the thousands of families who will be pushed into poverty as a result and the rest who will struggle to make ends meet.

"Make no mistake: Eliminating the Michigan Earned Income Tax Credit is a tax increase on 820,000 hard-working families in Michigan and it reduces the chances of success for more than 1 million kids. These are families who work and work hard to provide for their children on low- and moderate-incomes. And while the credit amounts to pocket change for our legislators, it means a great deal to the families trying to survive on a fraction of a representative's income.

"Without this tax credit, many families will struggle to afford housing, child care and transportation so they can remain in the workforce and take steps toward self-sufficiency. We are grateful to the representatives whose common sense and conscience led them to vote against this bill, particularly the five Republicans who dissented from their caucus, Reps. Thomas Hooker of Byron Center, Martin Howrylak of Troy, Holly Hughes of Montague, Brandt Iden of Kalamazoo and Aaron Miller of Sturgis.

"We also thank Sen. Tory Rocca of Sterling Heights for voting against bills allowing agencies funded with public dollars to discriminate based on religious beliefs against potential foster and adoptive parents. These bills put up more barriers for getting children in the child welfare system into loving and supportive homes. They certainly are not in the best interest of children.

"These bills are shameful. We remain hopeful that the Senate will see the intrinsic value of the EITC and refuse to pave the roads on the backs of working families, and we hope that Gov. Snyder will see the religious freedom bills as the discrimination they are and veto them."

The Michigan League for Public Policy, http://www.mlpp.org, is a nonprofit policy institute focused on economic opportunity for all. It is the only state-level organization that addresses poverty in a comprehensive way.
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