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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Kim Hicks (DFL)

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Rep. Hicks Supports Paid Family & Medical Leave

Tuesday, May 2, 2023

SAINT PAUL, MN – Tuesday, the Minnesota House of Representatives passed HF 2, to establish a Paid Family and Medical Leave program similar to Minnesota’s unemployment insurance program.  

Rep. Kim Hicks (DFL-Rochester), voted for the legislation:

“Thousands of Minnesotans do not have access to any paid time off, which sets up a difficult choice between having to go to their jobs, or caring for an ill loved one,” said Rep. Hicks. “People get sick, things happen, and we need to make sure everyone has the time to care for themselves and their loved ones during trying times. At the same time, no one should face bankruptcy for their choice. Passing Paid Family & Medical Leave is the right thing to do, and I was proud to cast a ‘yes’ vote.” 

Less than 20% of United States workers have access to paid family and medical leave through their employers. The rest, predominantly lower-wage workers, face some impossible decisions. Under the federal Family & Medical Leave Act (FMLA), workers in the U.S. can take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave following the birth of a child or if the worker or a family member has a serious illness or suffers an injury. Most workers, however, cannot afford to take unpaid leave and the FMLA offers little relief.

The United States is the only high wealth country in the world not allowing workers to take paid family leave. Further, a compelling majority of Americans support paid family leave. In one recent, national poll, 84% expressed support for a national paid family leave program. The paid family leave program would be administered by the Dept. of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) in conjunction with its Unemployment Insurance (UI) program.

You can watch the presentation and testimony of the bill here.