The debate over unionizing certain in-home child care workers and personal care assistants resumed in the Senate Health, Human Services and Housing Committee on Monday.

The bill, sponsored by Sen. Sandy Pappas, DFL-St. Paul, includes a unionization attempt for certain licensed and unlicensed in-home child care providers, as well as a separate unionization effort aimed at certain personal care attendants. The total number of workers that could be affected is estimated at 21,000.

The committee heard several amendments before laying the bill over for later debate in the evening. Among the amendments was a change that would have eliminated unlicensed child-care workers from the bill. The chairman of the committee, DFL-Sen. Kathy Sheran, DFL-Mankato, supported the change, but it failed in a tie vote.

After the meeting, Sheran said she is also concerned that the bill could have the unintended consequence of reducing the number of families who are able to receive child-care assistance.

The bill, a key goal of organized labor following the DFL takeover of the Legislature, has cleared one committee hurdle in each house thus far.


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