Westrom: Bills heart to unionize day care, increase speed limiEditor's note: The following is a Week in Review column provided by State Senator Torrey Westrom, R-Elbow Lake.
Editor's note: The following is a Week in Review column provided by State Senator Torrey Westrom, R-Elbow Lake.
This week has been a busy one filled with committee hearings, floor
sessions, and constituent meetings. Two items in particular that were
addressed included a bill to unionize day care providers and another to
increase the speed limit from 55 mph to 60 mph.
First, the Senate heard legislation (Senate File 778) this week that
would unionize day care providers. In 2011, Governor Dayton issued an
executive order to unionize day care providers in the State of
Minnesota. Last April, Ramsey County Judge Dale Lindman ruled that
Governor Mark Dayton did not have the authority to issue the executive
order. He said the decision must be made by the Legislature.
As introduced, the bill offers childcare providers the rights and
obligations of public employees. While the full meaning of that phrase
is not clear, we do know that those who do not want to unionize will
still have to pay up to 85% of union dues in the form of “fair
share” fees. Also, day care providers will be forced to be entirely
represented by government employee unions.
Creating an environment in which childcare providers are public
employees will not make childcare more affordable or responsive. There
are concerns that this legislation will raise the rates of day care
providers which will hurt families who use their services.
Secondly, On Wednesday, March 13, I offered an amendment to the Senate
Transportation Omnibus Policy bill to include a slight speed limit
increase from 55 mph to 60 mph except for in hazardous areas. The plan,
if approved, would be phased in over a period of time. Every time the
Minnesota Department of Transportation takes a 55 mph sign down for
replacement on a set highway or route they would instead replace it with
a 60 mph sign. This phase-in would eliminate additional costs for the
Senator Torrey Westrom may be contacted by telephone at (651) 296-3826 or (855) 407-7386, by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, or via mail at 107 State Office Building, 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55155.