Government Gone Wild: Minnesota Bill Would Outlaw Unlicensed Painting

Published March 12, 2024

During the throes of the pandemic, millions of Americans were forced to lockdown at home for months on end. One of the few silver linings during this terrible period was that many people found the time to perform home maintenance projects like revamping old rooms with a fresh coat of paint.

Incredibly, for the citizens of Minnesota, it could soon be against the law to paint a wall, ceiling, or anything else for that matter inside one’s own home without a licensed painter present. And, if the bill is passed as currently written, it would be illegal for unlicensed painters to purchase solvent-based paints in quantities larger than a gallon.

Since the bill was introduced in mid-February, many people on both the left and the right have posted their outrage. As they should.

This is nothing more than the latest instance of our “overlicensed society,” which has been a problem in the making for many years.

Once upon a time, America was the land of the free, the home of the brave. If you wanted to start a hair-braiding business, go ahead. Good luck! If you wanted to launch a pet-walking start-up in your neighborhood, more power to you.

Today, both of these activities are illegal in most states. Here are the requirements to braid hair across the 50 states. It is totally absurd!

While some refer to this phenomenon as “regulation for the sake of regulation,” I differ with that assessment. To me, this is a microcosm of government gone wild.

The ridiculous overlicensing that has taken place over the past few decades at the state and federal levels is not only a drag on the economy. I fear that it has emboldened policymakers and bureaucrats to make mincemeat out of individual rights that we the people must defend.

I also fear that it has produced a sense of corruption that is so deeply embedded, it will take a monumental feat to root it out.

Take, for example, the ludicrous situation in Minnesota. Does it surprise anyone that the Majority Leader of the Minnesota State Senate, Sen. Erin Murphy (D-64), is married to a man who owns a painting business?

According to her campaign website, Erin’s husband, Joe Faust, “owns and runs a painting business.” So, Erin pushes a bill to make unlicensed painting practically illegal and it just so happens that her husband owns a painting business that would absolutely benefit if the bill becomes law.

This is blatant corruption and protectionism. Do you think it’s possible that Sen. Murphy is on board with this preposterous bill because it will almost assuredly result in her husband’s painting business gaining more customers? I certainly do.

However, it would be foolish to assume that this bill is only about Sen. Murphy lining her family’s pockets with a rush of new customers who can no longer do their home painting projects on their own.

Of course, we should not discount the incessant desire for those in politically powerful positions to micromanage our lives to the nth degree. In recent years, this trend has grown by leaps and bounds.

For instance, when I was a kid, having a lemonade stand was practically a rite of passage. Not so much today. Our political elites have determined that this could be dangerous. Lemonade stands, in most states, need to be permitted!

I doubt that Big Lemonade is behind this. Just as I doubt that Big Paint is behind the scenes in Minnesota lobbying lawmakers to make it more difficult for Minnesotans to purchase their products in big box retail stores.

Typically, in these types of situations, it is a small interest group, or in this case, a family that wants to make more money by killing competition, that stands to benefit the most.

We must not let our freedoms, even our inherent freedom to purchase a gallon of paint to improve our home, be curtailed by lawmakers who stand to gain from such irrational rules and regulations.

Buying paint is not dangerous, even if it is more than a gallon. Likewise, painting a room in one’s home is not a threat to society.

The real threat is posed by the bill under consideration in Minnesota and all of the other similar licensure bills that have become law throughout the years as well as the lawmakers and bureaucratic busybodies who constantly propose these tyrannical edicts.

Photo by kfergos. Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic.