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Many Minnesota workers, including working parents, don't have access to paid leave. Low wage, Black, Hispanic, part-time, and younger workers are more likely to go without it than their counterparts. And yet, paid leave comes with significant health and developmental benefits for children whose parents are able to access it, while helping families maintain a measure of economic security when needed most.
As one of three co-chairs of the Minnesotans for Paid Family Leave coalition, CDF-MN worked in 2015 with partners and legislative champions to pass a Paid Family and Medical Leave program analysis, and in March 2016, worked with state Senator Katie Sieben (DFL-Cottage Grove) and Representative Jason Metsa (DFL-Virginia) to introduce the Paid Family and Medical Leave Act. The comprehensive, expert analysis informed the Act, which created a state-administered insurance program that would allow workers to take time to care for themselves or loved ones, including new children and seriously ill children, while receiving partial wage replacement. The bill received six hearings in the Senate and passed off the Senate floor as part of their omnibus tax bill. For the second year in a row, the House did not give paid family leave legislation a hearing and blocked passage. Creating a Paid Family and Medical Leave insurance program remained one of our top priorities in 2017 and in 2018, though neither the House nor Senate has given the Act a hearing. Similarly, lawmakers have not taken action on Earned Sick and Safe Time legislation. CDF-MN was proud to be a member of the St. Paul Earned Sick and Safe Time Task Force to help create change for workers and families at the city level, effective spring 2017.
Children’s Defense Fund-Minnesota believes Minnesotans should be able to care for themselves and their families without jeopardizing their economic security. CDF-MN supports a Paid Family and Medical Leave Program and earned sick and safe time, and works with both the Minnesotans for Paid Family Leave coalition and the Minnesota Benefits coalition to advocate for these important program and policy changes.