The state started collecting dues on behalf of a union set up by AFSCME and the UAW in 2009. But Patrick Wright of the Mackinac Center Legal Foundation says the child care providers are independent business owners. He says the state illegally expanded the definition of “public workers,” and the implications are far-reaching:
"It can apply with doctors with Medicaid, could apply with grocers who have somebody who’s on food stamps, with landlords who have people who are getting rent assistance. And when you think about the logical stopping place is, it’s fairly frightening."
Wright says the dues have amounted to a couple hundred dollars for most of the child care providers since the state started collecting them in 2009.