News Story

Stealth Unionization Plot Survives Another Attempt to Kill It

Another attempt to stop the funding of the government agency tied with stealth unionization of home day care workers was defeated this week.

This time, an amendment to House Bill 5838 would have spelled out that the Michigan Home Based Child Card Council would have its funding yanked. It was defeated by a 62-44 vote.

Last year, the Senate and House thought they defunded the MHBCCC, only to learn that the Department of Human Service found other revenue within its budget to keep it alive.

On Thursday, the House approved House Bill 5838, legislation that that says would establish "new regulations on individuals who are paid with welfare program dollars to provide child care to welfare recipients."

State Representative Dave Agema, R-Grandville, offered an amendment to this bill that would tie bar it to two other bills written to put an end to the MHBCCC. A tie-bar means that House Bill 5838 cannot become law unless those other bills did also.

"We are going to fight it again," Agema said.

Agema said he still thinks that the MHBCCC will be ended but doesn't think it will be done by House legislation.

"The Dems won't vote for it," Agema said.

Instead, Agema thinks that there will be a compromise between the House and Senate that ends up stripping the MHBCCC of funds.

Patrick Wright, senior legal analyst for the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, said he expects that the fate of the MHBCCC will be determined when the House and Senate sit down to iron out one bill that both sides can agree upon.

"Is it (MHBCCC funding) going to be a bargaining chip?" Wright asked. "I don't know. Is it possible that it gets sacrificed for something else that people want more? Yeah, that's possible, too."

The Michigan Home Based Child Care Council was set up as the employer of home-based day care workers. The state says there are as many as 70,000 home-based day care workers, some of which said they had no idea they had been roped into a union that represents members of the MHBCCC. Those that collect money from the state for low-income clients are included in the union. The MHBCCC collected $2.5 million in union dues in 2009, according to its financial statement.

The Mackinac Center filed a lawsuit against the Department of Human Services after some day care providers complained that they were unionized against their will.

Dudley Spade, the Democrat state representative who is the chair of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Human Services, didn't return calls left at his office on Friday. Spade has said in the past he was uncertain how the agency was established.

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.