ST. PAUL  (AP) - Republicans who have questioned the legitimacy and rationale for a union election affecting thousands of child-care providers are airing their concerns in a Minnesota House committee hearing.

The House Commerce Committee planned Monday to delve into the planned December vote. Home-based child-care providers will decide whether to form a union in a vote overseen by the Department of Mediation Services.

Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton called the election via an executive order he issued last week.

Republican lawmakers have argued that Dayton lacked such authority, and some have vowed to sue.

Union officials said they believe 5,300 licensed providers who receive some type of child-care subsidy from the state would be eligible to vote. All told, they care for about 65,000 children.

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