Democrats go to extreme with day care union bill [UPDATED]Published 9:47am Friday, May 31, 2013 Updated 11:51am Friday, May 31, 2013
The Minnesota Legislature’s decision to bypass good sense, good government and federal labor laws seems likely to be a bigger benefit to lawyers than to the day care providers that a new law is supposed to help. The rapidity with which a new law allowing day care providers to unionize drew a court challenge is a testament to just how bad the law is.
It came as little surprise that newly empowered Democrats used this year’s legislative session to enact some extreme legislation. They were, after all, only playing tit-for-tat with Republicans who had previously used their control of the Legislature to similarly push an extreme agenda.
The Democrats’ work this year included the law which, with Gov. Mark Dayton’s backing, takes the unheard of stance that day care operators, a group of private business owners, can join forces in a labor union. Opponents of the measure — among them many day care providers — argue that the sate law violates federal labor laws and the Constitution.
It also defies good sense to expect that day care operators would quickly, if ever, recoup the dues they would be forced to pay unions. Nor does it sit well with many Minnesotans that lawmakers’ venture into new territory came on the heels of an election when labor unions poured vast sums into Democratic Party campaign coffers.
Predictably, the law is so suspect that it has already drawn a legal challenge from a group of day care providers who oppose unionization. That suit will probably spawn others and, before all is said and done, generate more profits for attorneys than for any day care provider — union or no. That’s bad legislation.
The real problem, of course, is the tendency of both political parties to look at any moment of control as a chance to enact their agenda – which is not the same as good government, which almost always is built on compromise and accommodation. The day care union law, which faces a well-deserved legal challenge, is merely another sign of a broken political system.