State to appeal preliminary injunction on child care providers union

The Baltimore Sun

The Maryland attorney general's office plans to appeal a judge's preliminary injunction that prevents Gov. Martin O'Malley from enforcing his executive order allowing a union to represent home-based child care providers during negotiations for state subsidies.

Yesterday, two Republican lawmakers, Sen. Allan H. Kittleman and Del. Michael D. Smigiel Sr. applauded the Friday action by Cecil County Circuit Judge Dexter M. Thompson Jr.

The judge said the governor's Aug. 6 executive order, which covers residential day care providers who receive purchase-of-care vouchers from moderate-income parents, should have been handled through an executive branch regulation.

The judge wrote that "the public interest is best served when representatives and agencies of the state are operating under a lawful order and by lawful means."

The Maryland State Family Child Care Association, which in September filed a lawsuit to stop O'Malley's executive order, said union representation would increase costs for the state's 5,800 home child care providers.

Madie Green, a child care provider in District Heights and a leader of the effort to form a union with the Service Employees International Union, said she expects that Thompson's preliminary injunction will be overturned.

"Providers worked together for three years to win the right to vote and form our union to improve child care," she said in a written statement. "It's disappointing that a few people are still trying to keep our votes from counting."

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