Saturday, April 07, 2012

Overreach thwarted

It's no secret that MN Governor Mark Dayton is in the bag for labor unions. As such, he attempted to circumvent the Legislature in an attempt to unionize child care providers. Such a gesture never made a lot of sense given the fact the licensed day care workers are independent contractors.

As a result, the Governor got his proverbial finger slapped.

A Ramsey County District Court judge issued a ruling on Friday saying that the executive order issued by Gov. Mark Dayton last year authorizing an election of state child care providers is “null and void.”

According to Judge Dale Lindman, Gov. Dayton exceeded his authority because the order was an “unconstitutional usurpation of the Legislature's constitutional right to create and or amend laws” and violated the Separation of Powers doctrine.

“By Executive Order 11-31, the Governor is attempting to circumvent the legislative process and unionize child care providers by executive order rather than adhering to a valid legislative process,” Lindman wrote in his ruling. “In doing so, the Governor has improperly superseded the Legislature’s authority and violated the separation of powers clause as set forth in the Minnesota Constitution.”

This ruling somewhat assuages the regret over the now unlikely scenario of a "Right to Work" amendment appearing on the ballot in November.

Truth be told, I wouldn't be at all shocked if the push for RTW legislation was merely posturing in the first place. As we have now learned, not enough Republicans are willing to experience the backlash similar to what Wisconsin GOP lawmakers endured when enacting such reforms.

Regardless of the outcome, the mere possibility of such legislation being crafted likely scared the unions blind, so all was not totally lost.


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