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.