By Jim Ragsdale

A hearing to resume the debate over whether certain child care workers should vote on unionization has been delayed until February.

The hearing originally scheduled for Jan. 17 has been re-scheduled to Feb. 22 before Ramsey County District Court Judge Dale Lindman.

A spokesman for the Childcare Freedom Coalition, which sued to block the union election, said the Feb. 22 hearing will consider a motion for summary judgment, which speeds up the legal dispute over whether the election should proceed.

At issue is Dayton's executive order, issued Nov. 15, which called for an election to determine if some in-home child care providers want union representation. The election would only apply to those providers registered to care for children receiving state subsidies -- about 4,300 of 11,000 total licensed providers.

Anti-union child care providers and the coalition sued to block the vote, and won a temporary order from Lindman. Dayton is challenging that decision, as are the lawyers for unions seeking to organize the providers.