Things in St. Paul have slowed down a bit this week now that each of the omnibus budget and policy bills has received initial approval in both the House of Representatives and the Senate. Conference committees have been meeting this week to work out differences between each chamber’s omnibus bills. Once agreement is reached, they will come before the House and Senate for a final vote before being sent to Gov. Walz for his signature.
Breaking with years of tradition, Democrats have refused to seat lead-Republicans on a handful of conference committees. This includes the Environment and Natural Resources Committee of which I serve as the lead-Republican. Democrats are using their one-party rule to force harmful policies onto Minnesotans and now they are trying to take away Republicans' opportunity to even raise any objections during these important committee hearings.
More Mandates and Taxes on the Way
On Monday, Democrats approved legislation that will hurt employee wages and damage small businesses by establishing a mandatory, government-run paid leave program funded by a new tax on employers and workers at a time when the state has a $17.5 billion surplus.
House File 2 would cost billions of dollars to get up and running and require as many as 400 new full-time government employees to develop and administrate. The program applies to virtually every industry in the state including private employers, nonprofits, cities, counties, and school districts. It would be funded with a $2.9 billion tax on employers and employees and would wipe out any current leave benefits employees may already have.
To be clear, the concept or goal of expanding access to paid family and medical leave is something that all of us support, however, the Democrats’ plan is the wrong approach and will devastate small businesses across Minnesota and take money out of workers’ paychecks.
Having listened to these concerns from workers and employers, House Republicans introduced an alternate proposal, the FaMLI plan, which would have provided an outstanding product for Minnesota families without any of the bureaucracy, job-crushing mandates, and new payroll taxes found within the Democrats’ approach. Sadly, our plan was rejected by Democrats who chose once again to move forward with a top-down, government-mandated, expensive program.
Failing to approve our stable, compassionate, and workable plan is a missed opportunity for Minnesota and I am afraid of the unintended consequences in House File 2 that will no doubt have significant, negative ramifications for all of us.
Check out more details about our MN Family and Medical Leave Insurance Plan below.
Staying in Touch
Please be sure to reach out to me to share your thoughts, concerns, and ideas. I can be reached by phone at 651-296-4333 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.