Minnesota House passes paid family, medical leave bill

(KSTP) – The Minnesota House of Representatives passed a bill Tuesday that would create a statewide paid family and medical leave policy.

The bill, called House File 2, passed 68-64 and offers Minnesota workers up to 12 weeks of paid family leave and up to an additional 12 weeks of paid medical leave.

“The ability to care for yourself, the ability to care for your loved ones is a basic human need and it should not be denied to you because of where you work, the size of your employer,” said bill author Rep. Ruth Richardson, DFL-Mendota Heights.

House Republicans introduced their own proposal for paid family and medical leave, saying their bill would take effect on Jan. 1, 2024, more than a year before House File 2 would take effect.

In addition, their bill — called MN Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program, or FaMLI — would offer a tax credit for small business owners as an incentive, be a private option backed by an insurance company, and can be opted-in for $5 per week if an employer doesn’t join the program.

“3M, Allina, Xcel, Ameriprise, Best Buy, General Mills, Land O’Lakes, Medtronic, Target, United Health, Cub Foods, US Bank, Wells Fargo. If you work for any of those companies, this bill puts a tax on you for a benefit you already have,” said Rep. Nolan West, R-Blaine.

The full Senate has yet to take up the bill for debate.