Minnesota state senator pushes $1.7B paid family and medical leave bill

(Fargo, ND) -- Democrats in Minnesota are expressing confidence they'll pass a paid family leave and medical leave bill this year. 

"It has to be for the family leave, bonding with a brand new child, then for the medical leave, a significant medical occurrence in your life," said Minnesota State Senator Alice Mann.

Mann is the primary sponsor for SF-2, which if approved, would provide up to 12 weeks of paid family leave and up to 12 weeks of paid medical leave to people employed in the state. Mann says the bill would especially benefit low-income Minnesotans. Under the bill's current version, both employers and employees would pay into the program.  The bill includes $1.7 billion in state funding for the program's first two years.

"We are not talking about you have a cold, you're staying home for a couple of days. This is not it. This is when you have a stroke. This is when you break your femur, this is a huge medical event that knocks you out and you cannot get back to work for awhile," said Mann. 

Business groups, including the Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber of Commerce, oppose the measure.  They cite the costs to employers. Mann says her bill would require $1.7 billion dollars in state funding for the first two years of the program.   

Original Air Date: 
Tuesday, January 31, 2023