- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 6, 2014

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) - The Vermont House has passed legislation to allow operators of home-based child care programs to unionize if they wish.

Final House action came Tuesday after about an hour of debate, mostly over whether to allow any union representing the child care providers to negotiate for the right to charge agency fees for representing non-members. The agency fee provision stayed in the bill.

Supporters of the bill, which passed on a roll call vote of 78 to 59, said it would allow child care providers who often make less than $20,000 a year, to negotiate with the state over the subsidies offered to many of the families the providers serve.

Critics said it was mainly designed to enrich a union and opposed by most child-care providers.

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