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Childcare provider unionizing bill stalls

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ST. PAUL – An 11-11 tie in the Senate Finance Committee stalled a bill that would allow child care providers and personal care attendants to unionize.

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While there remain several ways the bill could be revived, Monday’s vote was the first rejection in what generally had been partisan debate this legislative session. Democratic Sens. Barb Goodwin of Columbia Heights and Terri Bonoff of Minnetonka joined Republicans in voting against the measure.

The bill sponsored by Sen. Sandra Pappas, DFL-St. Paul, would allow state-subsidized day care providers to join a union to negotiate with the state. Also, personal care attendants also could unionize.

Republicans say that unions are not designed to represent small businesses, such as day care providers and care attendants.

Sen. Sean Nienow, R-Cambridge, said it is possible that the bill will come back up on the committee and could pass if one of the people who voted against it Monday is out of the room.

Pappas plans to seek a new vote as early as today.

“This seems to be a priority for the unions,” Nienow said, and unions are primary Democratic supporters.

Democrats, who mostly support the bill, control the House, Senate and governor’s office.

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Don Davis
Don Davis has been the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau chief since 2001, covering state government and politics for two dozen newspapers in the state. Don also blogs at Capital Chatter on Areavoices.
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