Senate GOP joins lawsuit to stop union vote

Republicans in the Minnesota Senate have agreed to join a lawsuit challenging Gov. Mark Dayton’s recent order for a unionization vote among state-subsidized, in-home child care providers.

Members of the Senate Rules Committee approved a resolution today authorizing an amicus brief in support of a lawsuit filed earlier this week by 11 providers who oppose the union effort. Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch, R-Buffalo, says Dayton over reached with his order and stepped into legislative territory. But Koch says a separate Senate lawsuit to try to stop the vote was not necessary.

“This other group is making those arguments, and so I think there’s no reason to do a separate lawsuit or complicate the issue,” Koch said. “But we definitely wanted to weigh in as a legislative body. We felt that it was our duty constitutionally to do that if the governor has over reached, and we believe he has, to step in.”

Sen. Dick Cohen, DFL-St. Paul, the only Democrat who attended the committee meeting, said the brief was unusual and motivated by politics. A hearing is scheduled Monday morning in Ramsey County District Court.

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