Resident dismayed by political voteHeather Falk got an interesting lesson in politics when she traveled to St. Paul to testify before a legislative committee last week.
To the Editor:
On Tuesday, Jan. 24, I attended my first bill committee hearing at the Minnesota State Legislature. The bill I went to watch was HF1766, a simple modification to the state’s Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) – which is the co-payment offered by the state to help income-qualified families pay for child care – a one-page bill proposal.
I left the Capitol in amazement. My high school civics class had me walking into the commerce reform committee hearing with ideological beliefs on how politicians operated when laws were being made. However, after observing the hearing, I think high schools should drop the books and take a field trip to watch a committee hearing.
HR1766 was passed and is being sent to the next committee, [see “story” on Page ?] but the shocking point – the part I struggle to wrap my head around – is it was a complete party split.
This isn’t an issue that should be decided along party lines. This bill protects low-income families from having their child care assistance dipped into and creating a bigger financial burden on them. More importantly, if this bill does not pass, low-income families will have their options taken from them. All the child-care providers said that if union dues are taken straight from CCAP, they have heard many providers will no longer accept CCAP families in their child care.
If I closed my doors, if the union comes, my CCAP children would have only four providers to choose from out of 33 in our community. Is this what is best for Minnesota children? Yet EVERY DFL representative voted “no,” because of political allegiance to the unions over the benefit of Minnesota’s children. I truly expected at least two of them to do the right thing and not just follow what the union says.
I guess what high school didn’t teach was that politicians do not vote on the merit of law but instead along party lines, regardless of how many thousands of children will be hurt by their actions. I thought my DFL party typically considered families and children when they made laws – this vote was extremely disappointing to watch.
Heather Falk, Cloquet