Marybeth Hicks
Last week, while Wisconsin’s 14 renegade Democratic state senators continued to wash their socks and underwear in a hotel sink in a “principled” standoff to avoid voting on Gov. Scott Walker’s public union reform agenda, and as similar legislative efforts unfolded in Ohio and Indiana, there was a quiet but seismic victory for working people in my home state of Michigan.

Michigan's Department of Human Services announced that it is ceasing the illegal practice of classifying privately owned, home-based day care providers as “state employees.”

You might read that sentence a time or two and think, “Huh? How can privately owned businesses be considered employees of the state?”

Good question. These folks don’t collect state paychecks, they don’t get state pensions or state health care benefits, they don’t get state holidays or educational benefits — they don’t even get memos from any supervisors. Nothing about their work life is even remotely associated with state employment.

Here’s how some greedy union executives decided otherwise: Some of the families served by roughly 40,000 of Michigan’s 70,000 privately owned and operated, home-based, child care providers receive state funds earmarked for child care because they are enrolled in public assistance or job training programs.

Seeing a clever way to help themselves to some of that public money, Michigan’s United Auto Workers (UAW) and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), who had been heavy supporters of Gov. Jennifer M. Granholm, hatched a scheme with the Democrat's administration in which home-based child care workers would be required to a join a fake union so that 1.15 percent of the child care benefits paid to their clients could be confiscated for “union dues.”

Marybeth Hicks

Marybeth Hicks is the author of Don't Let the Kids Drink the Kool-Aid: Confronting the Left's Assault on Our Families, Faith, and Freedom (Regnery Publishers, 2011).