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Legislation that would allow child care providers and personal care assistants to join labor unions was sent to the Senate floor on a 12-10 vote Wednesday evening. The bill cleared the Senate Finance Committee without a recommendation of support, the third committee it has advanced out of without explicit backing from its members.

Unionization bill clears Senate committee on second try

Sen. Terri Bonoff

Legislation that would allow child care providers and personal care assistants to join labor unions was sent to the Senate floor on a 12-10 vote Wednesday evening. The bill cleared the Senate Finance Committee without a recommendation of support, marking the third time the proposal has squeaked by in a committee vote without the explicit backing of the panels’ members.

The vote came just two days after the bill, sponsored by Sen. Sandy Pappas, DFL-St. Paul,  stalled in the finance committee on an 11-11 vote. Two Senate DFLers — Terri Bonoff of Minnetonka, and Barb Goodwin of Columbia Heights — joined all Republicans in voting against the controversial measure, which could affect upwards of 20,000 workers.

On the second vote, Bonoff joined her fellow DFLers in voting in favor of sending it to the floor. Goodwin again voted against the proposal.

Bonoff made it clear that her vote was not an indication that she supports the unionization proposal. “Make no mistake, I’m not changing where I stand on this bill,” she said.

But Republicans argued that a vote to move the bill to the floor — even without any recommendation — was no different than voting in favor of it. “Don’t fool yourself,” said Sen. Michelle Fischbach, R- Paynesville. “This is just like voting yes.”

Both the House and Senate bills are now poised to be taken up for votes on the floor.

2 comments

  1. The DFL Party is digging a deep grave with this one. They are creating fabulous talking points for the 2014 elections to unelect their House majority as well as Governor Dayton!!

    This one is a great deal more politically dangerous than gay marriage. You mess with kids, you mess with day cares, you mess with small business owners – then you are in trouble!!!

  2. I have so many thoughts on this. First of all I am really bothered that these elected officials are not listening to the people who are going to be most affected by this bill. Second how can you lump three different groups that are so different together. What does child care & personal care attendants have to do with each other? The legally unlicensed child care providers do not have the same rules & regulations that the licensed have. Do those that support this bill realize that these same elected officials can give you the higher reimbursement rates that you want by increasing the funding for the CCAP & they can do this without having to cost us a single dime. The union can’t get you a higher reimbursement rate if the funding isn’t there or they have to knock more people off the program to give others higher rates. Have you people that are for this bill stop to think about what is going to happen down the road. I heard of several providers that say they will quit accepting children on CCAP. There seems to be a shortage of care at least in my area of the state now you are going to create an even bigger shortage for those on CCAP trying to find care. So now you have a bunch of people doing the legally unlicnsed care who have very little if any rules & regulations to follow, no home inspections, no unannounced visits yet they keep pushing more & more rules & regulations for the licensed providers. Do those of you that support the union really feel that the union is going to get you that much higher of a reimbursement rate to offset the expense of paying union dues? I’ve also heard that there is a good possibility that if the union would happen to get something for the providers such has higher CCAP reimbursement rates your dues are going to go higher also. Child care providers are small business owners with no or very few employees, please leave us alone the union is for large businesses with several employees.

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