RLM LEGISLATIVE DAY APRIL 10th WILL KICKSTART FULL ACTION
“RE-PRIORITIZING” FAMILY PLANNING EXPENDITURES – CUTTING OFF PLANNED PARENTHOOD
The Legislature is now in budget mode, planning to complete the budget for the fiscal year that begins this October 1st, by early to mid-June. RLM is setting the stage now for language to be included in the budget that will shift family planning funding from Planned Parenthood to other providers, in particular county health departments that already provide some of the same services. Currently, the health departments in 9 counties where PP provides publicly-funded services also provide those services. Those 9 counties are our first target.
There are 7 more counties where PP is the ONLY provider of publicly-funded family planning services. Finding alternative providers in those counties present a different challenge. We’ll work on those through other means. Getting our first target language successfully in the budget would result in cutting PP’s footprint over 50%, with 9 of 16 locations being cut-off from government funds.
Our major push on this budget language begins on Legislative Day, Tuesday, April 10th. You can register online now at https://donationsrl.rtl.org/events/legislative-day/
PATIENT PROTECTION BILLS ARE IN “FULL NEGOTIATION MODE”
A two-bill package of legislation to protect patients from unilateral decisions to withhold or withdraw life-sustaining treatment was introduced in both the House and Senate late last fall. The House bills (HB 5075 & 5076) received a hearing in November, at which time, most of the “interested parties” (hospitals, medical groups, etc.) didn’t even show up for the hearing. They did not want to be around when testimonies were given about hospitals placing secret Do-Not-Resuscitate Orders in patients’ medical records, or secretly going to court to get a guardian appointed because the family disagreed about maintaining the patients care.
Since that time, the various medical interest groups have engaged the bill sponsors and RLM in a process to negotiate a consensus version of the legislation (i.e. they put up the white flag on fighting the bills). In store for us now is a lot of behind-the-scenes work drafting and re-drafting the bills. Again, Legislative Day will be our time to press legislators to support strong patient protections in Michigan law.
STILLBORN CHILD TAX EXEMPTION BILL MOVING
The House Tax Policy Committee heard testimony yesterday (March 14) on H.B. 4522 which will allows families to claim a child lost to stillbirth after 20 weeks of pregnancy as a “dependent” for Michigan income tax purposes. RLM led the effort in 2004 to allow parents to receive a formal Certificate of Stillbirth and receive a tax credit for a stillborn child after 20 week. Unfortunately, the tax credit was eliminated in 2011 when Gov. Snyder pushed a major rewrite of the tax code, eliminating many tax credits.
The Stillborn Child Tax Equity bill will treat the stillborn child exactly the same as any other child the family can claim as a dependent. The bill is expected to be voted out by the committee at its next meeting. It could be pending for a vote in the House around Legislative Day.
So if you haven’t figured it out by now, RLM Legislative Day 2018 is going to be really important!! Register a delegation from your area to be in Lansing to make a difference for LIFE!