Lawmakers Discuss Bill for Paid Family and Medical Leave System in MN
There were more committee hearings at the Capitol this week for legislation that would create a paid family and medical leave system in Minnesota.
As currently proposed, the legislation would set up a mandatory paid family and medical leave insurance program funded by a 0.7% payroll tax that businesses could partly pass on to employees.
It would allow up to 12 weeks of partial wage replacement in a 52-week period to care for a sick family member or a newborn or adopted child, and up to 12 weeks for an employee to attend to their own health issues. That could add up to 24 weeks of paid time off in a year.
“Comprehensive paid family and medical leave not only recognizes the humanity of people and improves a myriad of health outcomes, it also keeps people in the labor force, boosting our local economy and the entire U.S. economy,” said DFL Rep. Cedrick Frazier of New Hope.
“Making small businesses do something that they can’t afford doesn’t help them compete, it just puts them out of business,” said GOP Rep. Anne Neu Brindley of North Branch.
The bill has passed the House before but never got a hearing in the Senate when it was under Republican control. Gov. Walz supports the legislation and has indicated he’s willing to negotiate on the details, such as the number of weeks or the situations for which a person could take time off.