News Story

State Senate Passes Legislation to Define Home Health Care Providers as Private Individuals

Attorney: Ballot initiative to revive lucrative and illegal SEIU scheme would violate U.S. Constitution

For Immediate Release
Thursday, March 22, 2012
Contact: Michael Jahr
Vice President for Communications 
Patrick J. Wright 
Director, Mackinac Center Legal Foundation

MIDLAND — Senate Bill 1018 passed by the Michigan Senate today clearly defines home health care providers as private individuals, not public employees who can be forced into a mandatory collective bargaining union. It is expected that after the constitutionally required five days, the Senate bill will pass the House.

The House passed a similar measure to end this lucrative and unconstitutional dues skim in June 2011, but the Senate did not act on the bill for nine months, allowing a government-employee union to take an additional $4 million from aid intended for some of Michigan’s most vulnerable residents.

Since late 2006, more than 40,000 Michigan home health care providers have had dues extracted from Medicaid payments by the Service Employees International Union. In total, it has collected $29 million so far despite the absence of an employer to collectively bargain against. The number of affected providers, many of whom care for family members, is now above 60,000.

“The sooner this illegal and immoral policy is ended the better,” said Patrick J. Wright, director of the Mackinac Center Legal Foundation.

Government-sector unions recently proposed a constitutional amendment to circumvent this legislative fix. Wright noted that if passed, this proposed amendment would violate the U.S. Constitution since private employee unionization is purely a matter of federal law.