Court hearing is scheduled Jan. 17
by T.W. Budig
ECM Capitol Reporter
Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton plans to contest a Ramsey County Court district judge’s order blocking the child care unionization vote the governor sought through executive order.
A Dayton spokeswoman said on Thursday, Dec. 8 the governor planned to contest Ramsey County District Judge Dale Lindman’s order at a court hearing scheduled for Jan. 17.
Dayton yesterday expressed puzzlement why anyone in a democracy would want to prevent people from voting. It’s their destiny, he said of the 4,300 at-home, state-subsidized child care providers affected by the vote.
But Lindman at a court hearing on Dec. 5 ruled the proposed child care unionization vote had advanced through the wrong channel.
“It occurs to this court that if unionization of day-care providers is to become law of the State of Minnesota, it must first be submitted to the law making body of the state,” Lindman said. “That is to say that it should be vetted through the law making process.
“This court believes that the separation of powers provisions of the Minnesota Constitution do not allow the governor to enact by executive order a law which should be initiated in the legislature.”
Sen. Mike Parry R-Waseca, Chairman of the Senate State Government Innovation and Veterans Committee, and Sen. David Hann R-Eden Prairie, Chairman of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee, in a joint statement applauded Lindman’s reasoning.
Instead of rethinking his actions, Dayton has decided to forge ahead with his union allies cheering him on, the senators said.
“We agree with Judge Lindman’s statements from the bench that it is likely the providers (vote opponents) will prevail, and we continue to stand in their support,” Hann and Parry said.
On Monday Hann said the Senate would not pass a child care unionization vote bill. Republicans control both houses of the Legislature.
One union official recently depicted Republicans as “lapdogs” of conservative business interests.
“Minnesota’s family child care providers, and the children they care for, deserve better than to have their voices muted by corporate zealots like the Freedom Foundation of Minnesota,” said Service Employees International Union Local 284 Executive Director Carol Nieters.
“We are disappointed that Judge Lindman did not take this opportunity to stop this lawsuit in its tracks,” she said.
A group of child care providers, including one from Lakeville, recently filed suit to block the unionization vote.
The suit is backed by Minnesota Majority, the Freedom Foundation and other conservative groups.
Dayton originally proposed the child care unionization vote be held this month.