(Lansing, Mich.) – On Wednesday, October 5, the Michigan Supreme Court denied Governor Rick Snyder’s request for an advisory opinion regarding Section 152b of the State of Michigan’s 2016-2017 education spending budget. Section 152b appropriates $2.5 million to reimburse nonpublic schools for expenses associated with completing health and safety mandates required by the State.
Michigan Catholic Conference (MCC) offered the following response to the Court’s decision: “It is important to note that despite the Court’s denial of the advisory opinion, it did not find the funding unconstitutional as the opponents had argued, meaning the appropriation will continue and nonpublic schools are entitled to funding. At this point we look forward to working with the Michigan Department of Education to establish the parameters by which non-public schools will rightfully be reimbursed for complying with health and safety mandates,” said Tom Hickson, Michigan Catholic Conference Vice President of Public Policy.
“Michigan Catholic Conference is disappointed in the Court’s decision not to issue an advisory opinion, yet we will continue to support the appropriation and any legal efforts to protect its intent to ensure every student in Michigan is treated equally by the State of Michigan.” MCC was the lead advocate for the Section 152b appropriation through this year’s budget process. MCC additionally supported the Governor’s request to the Supreme Court for an advisory opinion by filing an amicus brief that argued in favor of the appropriation. Michigan Catholic Conference is the official public policy voice of the Catholic Church in this state.