Does Gov. Dayton have the authority to set in motion the unionization of home-based daycare businesses? No, say two Minnesota legislators, writing in the Star-Tribune.

Sen. David Hann (R-Eden Prairie) and Sen. Mike Parry (R-Waseca) say in part, “Our reading of current law makes clear that private, home-based child care providers are not public employers or employees and therefore do not fall under the jurisdiction of [the Bureau of Mediation Services] or public employee labor relations law.”

They conclude: “The effort to unionize private businesses seems to us to be simply the payoff for political support with the intent of expanding the influence of public union organizations in the state.”

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Update: Unionization of daycare business owners is nothing new; Michigan tried doing it a few years ago. The move was undone by a new administration. But before that reversal, the Mackinac Center for Public Policy filed suit. Its petition to the Michigan Supreme Court (PDF) is worth looking at; though it is based in Michigan law, it has some general citations that may be of interest to Minnesotans.

In particular, “organizing [of home-based daycare business owners] under the National Relations Labor Act” is not an option; it requires “specific legal authority.”