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Lawsuit Filed Against Newly Passed Day Care Union Bill

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ST. PAUL (WCCO) — Just days after Gov. Mark Dayton signed the controversial Child Care Collective Bargaining Act into law, a lawsuit is being filed by opponents.

The day care law, which gives child care providers the right to vote to join a union, was passed just last week as the session came to a close.

On Wednesday, inside the State Office Building, the child care providers behind the lawsuit were passionate, arguing that the law is unconstitutional. The providers filed a civil lawsuit in federal court, asking for the court to invalidate the law, saying federal labor laws preempt state law.

Opponents say that the new law would force them to pay union dues if they take care of children under child care assistance, which would limit their ability as small businesses.

“We can speak for ourselves,” Becky Swanson, a Lakeville child care provider, said. “We have great legislators. They also speak and listen to us, so I’m hoping this will be quick and sweet in court. Unfortunately, I don’t think it will be. (We want to) get an injunction in court put in place and we can move forward and we can go back to doing what we do best.”

Supporters of the bill, mostly DFLers, say the law won’t force anyone to join a union.

“This group has sued before. The judge said that the matter should go to the legislature. It did. And now’s the time to let child care providers choose for themselves if they want a union ,” AFSCME’s Jennifer Munt said.

The lawsuit as it stands now seeks to find an injunction against allowing child care providers to vote to form a union.

There hasn’t been any mention on personal care attendants, although they are mentioned and included in the law. However, the attorney for the group said that it is possible that other lawsuits will arise from this.

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