Breaking down the Minnesota DFL, GOP paid family leave proposals
(ABC 6 News) – Wednesday, Minnesota Governor Walz laid out his plan for paid family medical benefits for working Minnesotans that would require companies give paid time off to employees, whereas a Republican proposed plan unveiled on Tuesday would give businesses a choice on offering paid time off for workers.
The National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB), which represents more than 10,000 small businesses throughout Minnesota is raising alarm over the proposal to establish the state-run 24-week paid leave program.
ABC 6 News Anchor Betsy Singer speaks with John Reynolds, with the NFIB, about the two proposals, and what he feels is the best option for Minnesotans.
Reynolds said, "The NFIB members I talk to in Minnesota tell me all the time they need flexibility and they need relief. They’re facing a daunting set of challenges right now with record inflation, supply chain disruption, worker shortages, sky-rocketing energy costs and recovering from the pandemic. Some of their sales have gone way down compared to pre-pandemic levels. So, we really see three big problems with Governor Walz’s proposal, the first is costs. It’s a new payroll tax on top of Minnesota already being one of the highest tax states for businesses in the country, and on top of the massive unemployment tax increases that are set to take effect at the end of next month. And, that payroll tax could actually increase to any amount in the future depending on what the program actually costs. The second big problem that we see is the chronic workforce shortage. We have no idea how this is going to work at a time when two thirds of our members say that they can’t find enough workers and see that all the time out on Main Street. If you’re going to a coffee shop or restaurant or grocery store, you see help wanted signs everywhere right now, it’s very difficult to hire, and taking somebody out of the workforce for 24 weeks a year is only going to make that problem worse. The third big problem is this is a huge disruption to the employee/employer relationship.