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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Glenn Gruenhagen (R)

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News from Representative Gruenhagen 05-17-2013

Friday, May 17, 2013

Dear Friends,

Some updates from Saint Paul:

Where is the budget?

We have less than 100 hours remaining this session, and we are nowhere close to accomplishing the main task that we were sent here to do of passing a budget. Despite having all session to get their work done, Democrats have exercised extremely poor time management, and have left us with precious little time to pass the largest budget in state history. In fact, we don't even have final copies of nearly all of the budget bills that we are expected to review and pass in the final 3 days.

Democrats are insisting on spending time on a constitutional amendment to facilitate legislator pay increases, and the unionization of small business owners rather than focusing on the important work of passing a budget.

You deserve better than this. I will send out another update once we have finished our work and passed the bills.

Childcare Unionization bill tomorrow

Just as a last reminder, the House will be debating the childcare and personal care attendant unionization bill tomorrow. If this is an issue that is important to you, I hope you will consider coming to the Capitol to oppose this senseless effort to unionize small business owners, 86% of which have indicated they do not support this effort.

I submitted a letter to our local papers detailing my opposition to this legislation:

Unionization effort would mean higher costs, fewer choices for families

The 2013 legislative session has been marred by Democrats overreaching at every turn. Democrats want nearly $3 billion dollars in higher taxes and fees to close a mere $627 million dollar deficit, growing government by 10%. They have focused on divisive social issues like gun control and gay marriage, and renewable energy standards that would raise energy rates on hardworking Minnesotans.

However one of the most egregious overreaches this session is the Democrats stubborn insistence to force through an effort to unionize childcare providers and PCAs. With just days remaining, before passing a final budget Democrats are wasting time on a bill that passed through three separate Senate committees without recommendation to pass.

This effort would charge daycare providers union dues for a union they don't want. In a survey of providers, more than 80% of daycare providers stated they did not wish to join a union.

Despite these numbers, Democrats want to spend nearly $5 million dollars on a bill that will increase costs and limit choices for low-income families.

Union dues or fair-share fees represent an increased cost to providers that could be passed on to hardworking families in the form of increased childcare costs.

Any provider that does not wish to join the union would be forced to either pay fair-share fees against their will, or reject low-income children who receive state subsidization for child care, limiting choices for families. Many daycare providers will even close their business to avoid the headaches associated with joining a union.  Why are we letting politics and union-boss power grabs get between parents and childcare providers? Why are the democrats forcing private business owners to unionize? Because it would take nearly $8 million dollars of money intended to help children and give it to union bosses to fill depleted campaign funds.  It's simply outrageous.

Newspaper editorial boards across the state, even those that traditionally side with my friends in the majority have come out strongly in opposition to this bill. There's a reason for that. They recognize what we have been saying all along: this bill may be good for the powerful far-left special interests that helped elect the Democrat majority, but it's bad for the hardworking families of Minnesota and their children. 


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Have a great weekend,



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