Lansing Republicans held a hearing today on House Bills 5684 and 5685. These bills would give a tax credit to fetuses after 12 weeks of gestation.

Back up. What?

Lansing Republicans voted last year to eliminate a state tax credit for parents with children. The message is clear – “your kids don’t count.”

These ludicrous bills are sponsored by Reps. Lisa Lyons (R-Alto) and Jud Gilbert (R-Algonac). It’s clear Lyons and Gilbert believe life begins at conception, but that financial help for children of low income families should stop at birth.

This is a sneaky, backdoor way for Lyons and Gilbert to pass “personhood” legislation. Personhood legislation is controversial, and declares that a fertilized egg should have the same rights as a human being.

Both Lyons and Gilbert voted to eliminate the state tax credit for parents who have children. Both also voted to slash funding for the EITC, which helps low-income families.

The non-partisan House Fiscal Agency estimates these bills – if passed – could cost taxpayers $5-$10 million annually.

According to the Michigan League for Public Policy, 341,000 of Michigan’s kids live in high poverty areas. Michigan is ranked the 44th worst state for percentage of children living in poverty.

Cutting funding for low-income families with kids may be as easy as stealing candy from a baby, but it doesn’t mean it’s right.

Maybe Reps. Lyons and Gilbert should get back to what they were elected to do, by going to work for middle class families in Michigan. A good start would be creating good-paying jobs or restoring funding cuts to education.

These extreme fetus tax credit bills are not the answer to our state’s problems.


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