Hearing on state employee pact puts Parry in firestorm - Bring Me The News

Hearing on state employee pact puts Parry in firestorm

A legislative subcommittee is considering rejecting a labor agreement the Dayton administration has reached with state employee unions. But Thursday's hearing on the issue wound up putting subcommittee chairman Mike Parry - who's campaigning for Congress - on the defensive.
Author:
Publish date:

Republican legislators are not happy about a labor agreement that would give two percent raises to more than 27,000 state employees. The Subcommittee on Employee Relations held a Thursday hearing on whether to block or approve the deal. Ultimately the panel postponed a vote but not before a volley of partisan fireworks involving its chairman, Sen. Mike Parry, who is also a Congressional candidate involved in a competitive primary race.

The hearing drew a gallery full of union members backing the agreement. In addition, DFLers on the panel accused Parry of calling the hearing for political gain and criticized his handling of the meeting. MPR's take is that Parry called the hearing to level criticism at the labor agreement but by the end of the session found himself on the defensive.

Parry already faced some backlash over this week's remarks characterizing Gov. Mark Dayton as a pill-popping, scary liberal. The governor called it "gutter politics." It's an open question as to whether or how the episode will affect the result of Tuesday's primary, in which First District Republicans will choose between Parry and former lawmaker Allen Quist to see who will challenge Democratic Congressman Tim Walz.

Parry declined to take questions about his Congressional campaign in the Capitol Thursday. Instead, the Star Tribune reports, he agreed to meet reporters outside and then was a no-show.

The subcommittee is now scheduled to vote on the labor agreement August 23rd, which is the day before a special legislative session on flood relief is tentatively scheduled.

Next Up

Related

Legislative panel rejects state worker contracts

A Republican-led legislative panel rejected new contracts for more than 27,000 state workers. Senator Mike Parry called Governor Dayton irrational and referred to union leaders as "dinosaurs" following the vote Thursday.

State legislators want special hearing into paroles of 2 convicted killers

GOP leaders sent a request to Gov. Dayton Friday asking for more information on the recent paroles of two convicted murderers. Republican House Speaker Kurt Zellers wants a legislative hearing to review the two paroles of Timothy Eling -convicted of a 1982 cop killing- and John Scruggs- believed to have ordered the execution of a teenage girl.

State hospital employee found to have emotionally abused sex offender

An investigation by the Human Services Department found an employee at the state hospital in St. Peter emotionally abused a sex offender patient. The hospital, which treats dangerous mentally ill patients, put the employee through a coaching session to prevent future incidents. The incident adds to a series of recent problems at the St. Peter hospital.

Legislative hearing applies heat to day care union debate

Supporters on both sides of the union issue packed a hearing in St. Paul to argue allowing home child care workers to organize. Opponents of the idea say it will change the profession for the worse and make it harder for employers. Supporters say a union will help workers get a wage that matches their skills.