Graduation time for the young men and women in our district is upon us. The next generation will have many challenges and opportunities upon them. I have been able to meet many of these young men and women in our schools and know they are up to the challenge. I wish our graduating seniors the very best and hope for a safe graduation weekend coming up.
Some updates from Saint Paul:
Long-term care, assisted living, and disability services
The House did finally pass a Health and Human Services bill. This bill does provide some small increases for our nursing homes and certainly does provide a small cost of living increase. However, the bill does not go far enough for our workers in the disability services area and for assisted living facilities. We still have a long way to go to stabilize the funding and budget for our respected seniors.
Less than 60 hours to go
We have less than 60 hours in the 2013 legislative session. Despite the time crunch, we have passed very few of the budget bills that make up the 2014-2015 biennium budget. We don't even have many of the largest budget bills in their final form after coming out of conference committee to review before we pass them sometime in the next 60 hours.
Rather than focusing on the budget, we will be taking up issues like a constitutional amendment to facilitate a legislative pay increase, and a bill to unionize small business owners. These are needless distractions at a time when Minnesotans expect us to be working on the important work of passing a budget.
Childcare Provider Unionization Tomorrow
Today, the House will take up legislation aimed at unionizing childcare providers and personal care attendants. I have yet to speak to any provider in our district who support this measure. A survey of childcare providers showed 86% opposition to this legislation.
I sent a letter to the Long Prairie Leader on this issue that I wanted to share with you:
Parents could see higher costs, fewer choices with unionization bill
Rep. Ron Kresha, District 09B
With just a few days left this legislative session, before even passing their entire budget, Democrats are pushing on Minnesota parents and children an entirely unnecessary & unwanted bill that would unionize our states childcare providers and personal care attendants. This legislation will result in higher costs and fewer choices for hardworking parents.
While I fully support the right of workers to unionize, this measure is quite different. Unlike a normal union which allows employers to unionize to negotiate with their employer, this would unionize individual small business owners who determine their own wages and working conditions.
This is simply a bad bill for hardworking parents and their children across Minnesota. All providers who accept childcare assistance program (C-CAP) state subsidy funds would be forced to join the union if the election effort is successful. Those who do not wish to be a part of the union would be forced to either pay fair-share dues or refuse to accept children who receive the state subsidy C-CAP funds.
This results in fewer choices for low-income families who rely on the state subsidy C-CAP program funds. In addition, the required union dues represent a cost increase for providers, which could result in increased costs for parents if those costs are passed on.
One union official stated in the Star Tribune that a third of union dues would go to the national union in Washington D.C. Is this where we want money going that is meant for the care of our children? I don't believe so.
Folks, there's a reason the Star Tribune, the Pioneer Press and a number of other editorial boards have come out in opposition to this bill. It's nothing more than a payoff to special interest organizations that hurts Minnesota families in the form of higher costs and fewer choices. Minnesotans deserve better.
Keep in touch
Please keep in touch with questions or comments as we wrap up our business during the final hours of the 2013 session. It has truly been a privilege to be here representing our district for the last five months, and I thank you for the opportunity to serve our community.
Have a great weekend,
State Representative, District 09B