MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - When the Legislature reconvenes on Tuesday, one of the bills they can vote on is HB277, the Child Care Safety Act.
This bill would remove the broad, faith-based exemption that close to half of all daycares in Alabama get, meaning they need not be licensed nor inspected for health and safety.
There is opposition to the bill, primarily based on the concern that the state may eventually get to regulate what is taught at these faith-based centers. That is not a frivolous concern. The separation of church and state is part of the foundation of our system of government and should not be taken lightly.
But the safety and health of children should not be sacrificed at that altar, so to speak.
As an adult, I have the right to be as reckless with my own health and safety as I want, as long as it doesn't deprive others of their rights.
But children cannot make adult decisions and need to be protected from dangers which we all recognize. The bill, as it is now written, seems to offer that protection without jeopardizing the church-state separation.
But, if changes must be made in the wording of this bill to assuage the concerns of its opposition, then I urge them to be made.
Either way, this bill should be passed.