Massachusetts Democrats are suggesting that the Bay State's economy cannot fully reopen unless and until the federal government agrees to pay for daycare programs.

Nothing like using a crisis to push a political agenda.

Massachusetts State Senate President Karen Spilka (D) tells the State House News Service the COVID-19 crisis "has made it really clear just how important accessible, reliable, quality child care is for so many families across our commonwealth."

"I think we can fight for, hopefully, some federal funds to help our economic recovery, public-private partnerships with our business community, because I just don't think it's realistic at all to expect people to be able to go back to work without giving them a timeline for daycares, and for that matter summer camps," Spilka said.

King Charlie Baker has ordered all Massachusetts daycares closed until at least June 29. The fate of summer camps, sleepover programs, and summer schools that are scheduled to open on June 1 remains up in the air at this point. Spilka says those are all key pieces of the "infrastructure" necessary for Massachusetts to reopen its economy.

Baker needs to get out of the way and give parents the tools that they need to restart the economy and their lives. The consensus is that the coronavirus has had little to no impact on young people and they should be allowed to resume their lives immediately. We don't need more federal money to pay for daycare. Parents are willing and eager to return to the arrangements that were working so well for them before this shutdown overreaction. Baker needs to back off and get out of the way.

Reopen the economy, Charlie!

Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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