December 16, 2009 Anyone who needs proof Michigan's government is too big should pay attention to this story:
A Middleville woman was recently ordered by the state to stop watching three neighborhood children before they got on the school bus in the morning because she is not a licensed daycare provider.
The Middleville woman did not accept payment for watching the children; she was simply being a good friend and neighbor. The children's parents both had to leave for work a half hour before the school bus arrived and did not want them standing outside in the dark. Since the Middleville woman's kids and the neighborhood children were all friends and playmates, she volunteered to make sure everyone got off safe to school in the morning.
That's when the Department of Human Services ordered her to cease and desist, saying the woman was running an illegal, unlicensed daycare facility. If she wanted to keep watching the children, the Middleville woman was told she would have to pay a licensing fee; undergo CPR training, a mental evaluation and criminal background check; install exit signs over her doors and have her furnace inspected.
When the Middleville woman asked if the kids could at least come inside when there is heavy rain or a snowstorm, she was told to "tell the parents to buy an umbrella."
Fortunately, most everyone could see how ridiculous the government was being in this instance, even if the bureaucrats in charge couldn't. After lawmakers stepped in and this story gained national attention, the governor agreed to work with lawmakers to make sure this kind of thing does not happen again.
When intrusive government bureaucrats have time on their hands to crack down on good neighbors for the crime of babysitting, it's time to rethink the size of government.
I look forward to hearing your comments on these important issues. Please feel free to contact me by calling 517-373-1800 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.