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Gov. Dayton's child care unionization order is nullified

Posted by: Jim Ragsdale under Gov. Mark Dayton, Minnesota legislature, Minnesota state senators, Democrats, Republicans Updated: April 6, 2012 - 1:36 PM

A Ramsey County judge ruled Friday that Gov. Mark Dayton exceeded his authority in ordering a union election for certain in-home child-care providers.

Judge Dale Lindman declared Dayton's order, issued Nov. 15, "null and void because it is an unconstitutional usurpation of the Legislature's constitutional right to create and or amend laws and as such is a violation of the Separation of Powers doctrine."

The decision was a victory for anti-union child-care providers and conservative groups who opposed an attempt to unionize in-home child-care providers. It was a defeat for Dayton, who argued that the providers had a right to decide through an election whether they wanted to be represented by a union.

Lindman's order ruled that the elections ordered by Dayton cannot occur.

"The proper method to proceed is for the matter to be brought to the Legislature," Lindman's order reads. He argued that Dayton's order is an attempt "to circumvent the Legislative process and unionize child care providers by executive order, rather than by adhering to a valid Legislative process."

"We're very pleased with the decision," said Tom Revnew, a lawyer for the anti-union group. "There's no authority in the law right now to allow such elections to procede. The Legislature would have to set out statute to allow this to occur."

A spokeswoman for Dayton said the governor disagrees with the decision but respects it. She said the governor continues to review the order and has not decided whether he will appeal.

Here's the order:

Swanson v. Dayton - Order[1]

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