Program

Gross Appropriation

Appropriation Breakdown

Child Care Information

$360,000[106]

All from Interdepartmental Grants

and Referral Services

Program Description:

This program assists state employees in locating affordable licensed child care within their community. The appropriation "represents amounts included within various appropriations for longevity and insurance, whether appropriated as a single line item or commingled with program line items, throughout state government for the current fiscal year."[107] Thus, while funding for the program is technically from Interdepartmental Grants, a more accurate statement would be that funding for the program comes from the general fund via various state agencies.

Recommended Action:

It is difficult to imagine that state employees have such trouble finding child care providers that the activity must be handled by state government and funded by Michigan taxpayers. This program should be eliminated.

Program

Gross Appropriation

Appropriation Breakdown

Professional Development

$1,276,000[108]

All from Special Revenue Funds

Fund-MPES; Professional

Development Fund-UAW;

Professional Development

Fund-Local 31-M; Professional

Development Fund-MSC;

Professional Development

Fund-Nonexclusively

Represented Employees

Program Description:

These programs provide retraining, in service training, seminars, workshops, and conferences for members of the aforementioned organizations.

Recommended Action:

Organized labor is an example of a private sector institution that has played an important role in advancing the interests of workers. However, labor unions and their programs, like corporations, should not be subsidized by taxpayers for job training or any other reason. They should be required to earn their support from the voluntary contribution of their members. This program should be eliminated.

Program

Gross Appropriation

Appropriation Breakdown

Martin Luther King

$24,300[109]

All from GF/GP

Holiday Commission

Program Description:

The commission provides information and advice to state government, local governments, and private organizations on how to best enhance the quality, of and participation in, MLK Day activities. It also serves as a liaison to the federal MLK commission.

Recommended Action:

Public and private organizations can handle the task of planning and executing MLK Day activities on their own. A state commission in not needed to assist them any more than they need assistance planning Christmas parties, Columbus Day festivities, or Washington's birthday celebrations. This program should be eliminated immediately.

Program

Gross Appropriation

Appropriation Breakdown

Community Services

$21,840,000[110]

$16,380,000 from Federal Funds;

$5,460,000 from GF/GP

Program Description:

The Community Services program pays local service organizations to provide assistance in the form of day care, congregate meals, crime prevention, health screening, and home repair to elderly persons.

Recommended Action:

These programs take resources from families and communities through taxation, funnel it through expensive state and federal bureaucracies, and return a fraction of the amount taken to certain selected individuals and organizations. These resources must be left with individual families and local communities who are close to the problems, and who can provide assistance that is more accountable and effective than that from distant bureaucracies in Lansing and Washington. This program is one which tears down civil society, and should be eliminated.

Program

Gross Appropriation

Appropriation Breakdown

Respite Care Program

$600,000[111]

$250,000 from GF/GP;

$350,000 from Special Revenue

Funds

Program Description:

The Respite Care Program is designed to provide companionship and/or assistance for frail elderly people when the primary caretaker is unavailable.

Recommended Action:

The Respite Care Program suffers the same defects as the Community Services program above, and it should be eliminated for the same reasons.

Program

Gross Appropriation

Appropriation Breakdown

Employment Assistance

$2,632,700[112]

All from Federal Funds

Program Description:

The Employment Assistance program contracts with over 200 people throughout the state who help seniors find employment. The majority of seniors who participate in the program are placed into minimum wage jobs.

Recommended Action:

The Employment Assistance program duplicates the efforts of many private organizations, and job placement is not the responsibility of government. This program should be eliminated.

Program

Gross Appropriation

Appropriation Breakdown

Nutrition Services;

$31,064,500[113]

$16,622,000 from Federal Funds;

DAG Commodity Supplement

$14,442,500 from GF/GP

Program Description:

Nutrition Services is divided into two sections: Congregate Meals and Home Delivered Meals. Congregate Meals provides lunch and social programs to seniors at various senior centers throughout the state. Home Delivered Meals, as the name implies, provides home delivered meals to frail elderly persons. For both programs, the meals are provided free of charge to the recipients and they are not means tested; that is, seniors from all income levels are eligible for these programs.

The DAG Commodity Supplement is a grant from the United States Department of Agriculture which funds the costs of the food distributed via the Congregate Meal program.

Recommended Action:

These programs take resources from families and communities through taxation, funnel it through expensive state and federal bureaucracies, and return a fraction of the amount taken to certain selected individuals and organizations. These resources must be left with individual families and local communities who are close to the problems, and who can provide assistance that is more accountable and effective than that from distant bureaucracies in Lansing and Washington. This program is one which tears down civil society, and should be eliminated.

Program

Gross Appropriation

Appropriation Breakdown

Senior Volunteer Services

$4,030,900[114]

$3,627,800 from Federal Funds;

$403,100 from GF/GP

Program Description:

Senior Volunteer Services is comprised of three programs: the Senior Companion Program; the Foster Grandparent Program; and the Retired Seniors Volunteer Program. The Senior Companion Program pays volunteers $3.00 an hour to assist other seniors with cooking, cleaning, and personal hygiene; the Foster Grandparent Program pays senior volunteers $3.00 an hour to assist Developmentally Disabled students in schools throughout the state with a wide variety of tasks and problems; the Retired Seniors Volunteer Program reimburses the travel costs of seniors who volunteer to tutor students in Michigan elementary and secondary schools.

Recommended Action:

The state should eliminate these programs for the same reasons listed for the nutrition programs. Further, these programs pervert the term "volunteer," and erode the charitable instinct in people who historically have given of their time to help others without expecting payment from the state or federal government. It is a sad manifestation of how political society has diminished the sense of community responsibility that characterizes civil society.