Dayton says Legislature is wasting time and money

Gov. Mark Dayton says he’s none too pleased that Republicans in the House and Senate plan to hold hearings to discuss whether Dayton has the legal authority to allow people working for in-home daycare providers to join unions.

Dayton has said he’s considering an executive order that would allow for those employees to vote on union membership, but he said he hasn’t made a final decision. Dayton said lawmakers’ decision to hold hearings before he takes any action is a “political ploy” and a waste of taxpayer money.

“Why don’t they start by reforming themselves and recognize that they’re a part-time Legislature that has been in session overtime all the way until the latter part of July?” Dayton said. “I’m well aware of the legal parameters that are available, but that doesn’t dictate policy. But I have a general counsel. I have the Attorney General. I don’t need a legislative show to trot this out, but that’s their prerogative and I think they need to hold themselves accountable as they want to hold the executive branch and stop fooling around.”

Dayton didn’t just criticize lawmakers for holding a hearing on the child care issue. He also ripped House Republicans for holding a news conference a few weeks ago to announce their efforts to reform state government. And he mocked committee chairs for holding hearings across the state on job creation – just weeks after the Legislature left St. Paul following the three week government shutdown.

“They had six months and they did very little on job creation,” Dayton said. “And I’m taking the initiative now, and we’re proactively engaged in it as we will be for the next three and a half years. So you missed your chance back then folks when taxpayers were paying for your salaries and your per diems.”

Dayton has held what he called job summits in places like Fergus Falls, Faribault, International Falls and the Iron Range.


Republican House Speaker Kurt Zellers defended the hearings and their work:

“We are, true, a part-time Legislature meaning we don’t meet and we’re not in session every month or every week,” Zellers said. “But we are full-time legislators. Our constittuent service work doesn’t end when the session ends.”

Zellers said the Legislature wants hearings on the child care issue because lawmakers and their constituents have questions about the legality of a union.

GOP Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch says she doesn’t understand why Dayton is criticizing their efforts to discuss jobs and the economy with Minnesotans.

“We welcome the governor’s ideas and I would hope that he would be open and welcome to our ideas.,” Koch said. “Having the executive branch and the legislative branch going out and listening to the people of Minnesota about the number one issue (jobs) and then coming back in January in session and passing some great legislation that helps clear the way for more job creation in the state. That’s only a good thing.”

  • danno

    It is past time for Dayton and Obama to start treating the Repuglicans like the children they are. If, and when, they reach the age of reason, maybe they can stay up an hour later. Otherwise, trying giving them a bottle of formula when they act up.

  • Bob

    Repuglicans acting like children??? Hardly. The Messiah keeps going on 3 years worth of tantrums as he is not getting his way. And you have a guv that wants to make up his own rules and listen to nobody. The name calling is pretty adultlike, too.

  • Jeff

    So please tell me who is the childish one the people tryint o live by a Co stitution of the guy making fun of them calling them names or his fellow DFLer’s like Danno who seem to have trouble with facts and use petty name calling ???????? Typical if you don’t agree with them you are stupid hmmmm sounds like….. pre-1942 Germany to me.

  • halfnorsk

    When the public learned (thanks to talk radio) of Gov. Dayton’s plan to sign an executive order for this ludicrous unionization of self-employed day-care providers, the outcry forced Dayton to back off from throwing this corrupt bone to his union cronies. Now the truth is coming out and he’s pouting. It’s time for a mature adult to occupy the governor’s office.

  • ClaraCarpe

    In other words, Governor Dayton wants elected officials to meet and discuss his decisions AFTER he’s made them? AFTER he’s taken action but not before? And Governor Dayton gets upset with the notion of reforming state government? Or is it perhaps he doesn’t like the priorities that are being established or the resistance to HIS plans? So let’s look at this issue of unionization which also has an effect on job creation and local economies. Will the language of the Executive order limit itself to employees who work AT home based child care businesses? Or what about the teams of married couples or siblings or parent/adult child partnerships who provide childcare services — with a legal business structure that requires payroll taxes to be paid? And I suppose unionization appiies to part-time (trained) college student or retired neighbor as well. This is ridiculous. Part of the problem is that the terms used (by politicians and the media) to describe home-based child care services slant perceptions. So who exactly are the 11,000 “home child care workers” the Governor wants to allow unionization for? Employee or small business owner? This issue is also a prime example of the Governor’s lack of expertise as it relates to small (as in SMALL) business. He may demonstrate empathy but he apparently has no idea what it takes to operate a home based business that produces the level of revenue (i.e. income) experienced by many child care providers. These are not small businesses that have a lot of flex when it comes to “profit and loss”. If they are going to stay in business, these child care providers will establish rates that are competitive and affordable — for the communities they operate within. And many times they “give away” extra time (which is technically billable time) to help parents. Child care providers are paid direct by parents and/or on BEHALF of the parent and/or child. Payments made on behalf of parent/child are from non-profit agencies and/or government departments (county, state and federal). Keep in mind, many of the non-profit organizations receive funding from the government in order to administer supports (e.g. USDA food program, payment of child care for low income parents). Also keep in mind the trickle-down effect of funding streams (federal to state to county to agency). Also keep in mind that Governor Dayton’s EO would likely result in even more administrative reporting for the small business owner as well as additional auditing (by government staff) to ensure compliance — especially by those providers who receive any form of government stipend or payment. What comes next? What other home-based businesses shall Governor Dayton decide to go after?

  • David Kappelhoff

    The governor is correct to call out an ineffective and lame legislature on not doing their jobs in a timely manner. It’s good to see a Democrat hold their ground to the corporate controlled GOP machine that is only interested in playing ideological and PR games with Minnesotans who need real solutions beyond the failed mantra of “no new taxes.” Keep calm and carry on, governor.

  • http://n-pgoetzke@hotmail,com Norm Goetzke

    Gov. Dayton, You are destroying free enterprises by focring unionization of independant day care providers. Unions MUST NOT be forced on business owners by decree. This is totally out of line in the United States of America!!!

    Get your head screwed on right!!!! UNION should be a free chioce not mandated!!!! If you want to fight for somthing fight for Minnesota to be a right to work state!


  • Tom Shieh


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