SAINT PAUL – The following statement was released following the passage of a robust Paid Family and Medical Leave policy last night that covers all Minnesotans (HF1200) in the Minnesota House of Representatives through the Jobs and Workforce Committee omnibus bill (SF4091), especially in light of water-down proposals in the Senate, which cost more for families and cover less:
“No matter where we work, our gender, or the color of our skin, all of us deserve the time we need to care for ourselves or loved one. But the vast majority of Minnesotans don’t have access to paid family and medical leave, and most small business owners find meaningful plan offerings unaffordable.
“We are excited the Minnesota House has once again championed and passed a robust statewide paid family and medical leave policy that all Minnesotans deserve. Even the Senate majority, who for years has refused to hear the bill, now has acknowledged their responsibility to make access to paid time to care a reality for Minnesotans. This bipartisan recognition is long overdue, and an indication of the mandate Minnesotans have set for this policy to be able to care for themselves and family members.
“We urge leadership in the Minnesota Senate to lead for all Minnesotan families by passing a strong and inclusive paid family and medical leave policy like the one just passed by the House. The companion bill for HF1200 in the Senate (SF1205) is the only version that takes serious the needs of working families, small businesses and solo-entrepreneurs. The Senate’s bills (private insurance SF3885; tax credits SF 4394) put big business before regular Minnesotans by both making families dependent on profit-driven private insurance companies and exclude broad groups of Minnesotans, which will further increase the racial and gender disparities we see in wages and benefits.
“It’s possible to have a state where every family can be with a newborn, care for an aging parent, and take the time to get well when very sick, while also knowing that their groceries, medical bills, and housing will continue to be secure. We again call on the Minnesota Senate to join the House and the majority of Minnesotans in support of a strong paid family and medical leave policy this legislative session.”
Minnesotans for Paid Family & Medical Leave coalition brings together over 30 organizations of labor, small businesses, faith, farmers, nonprofits and more who represent hundreds of thousands of Minnesotans across race and place in the state. Minnesotans for Paid Family and Medical Leave is co-chaired by Children’s Defense Fund-Minnesota, ISAIAH, and the Minnesota AFL-CIO.