Skip to main content Skip to office menu Skip to footer
Capital IconMinnesota Legislature

Legislative News and Views - Rep. Andy Smith (DFL)

Back to profile

Passing Paid Family and Medical Leave

Monday, May 8, 2023

Passing Paid Family and Medical Leave

Dear Neighbors,

Thank you to those who joined me and Senator Liz Boldon at a legislative town hall the Rochester League of Women Voters hosted a couple of weeks back. It was great to update you on our progress going into the final month of the legislature, and I am glad to share that we have now passed all of our budget proposals off the House Floor! 

Graphical user interface, text, application, chat or text message

Description automatically generated

You can read into the specifics of our budget proposals in the House Public Information articles written on each: Higher EducationLegacyEnvironment and Clean EnergyHousingVeteransElections, State and Local GovernmentK-12 EducationAgricultureTransportationEarly LearningChildren & FamiliesJobs & LaborHuman ServicesPensionsCommerceJudiciary & Public SafetyTax, and Health.

Paid Family and Medical Leave!

Last week, the House passed our proposal to guarantee that workers have access to Paid Family and Medical Leave. No one should be forced to choose between earning a paycheck and taking care of themselves or a family member, but the United States of America is the only developed country in the world that does not guarantee some sort of paid leave for its workforce.

I am excited to build a future in which workers never again must choose between providing for their families or caring for their families, and I was proud to stand up on the floor and speak in support of the bill.

A person speaking into a microphone

Description automatically generated with medium confidence

Enacting Paid Family and Medical Leave will help to make Minnesota the best state in the nation for children and families. It complements all the other work we are doing to help Minnesotans afford their lives, like investing in affordable housing, providing free school meals, and reducing health care costs. I was excited to cast my “yes” vote for this legislation, and I want to thank all the advocates, many of whom I spoke to on Tuesday, for showing up and never giving up!

A picture containing text

Description automatically generated

Keeping Nurses at the Bedside Act

Last week, the Minnesota Reformer published a story about how the Mayo Clinic is threatening to pull billions in investments over the proposed Keeping Nurses at the Bedside Act. Today, one in five nurses are planning on leaving the profession, and a major thing we can do to stop that trend is to give nurses more of a say in staffing decisions. Nurses need to feel safe and valued. As I have said before, I support our nurses who testified in the Health Committee and elsewhere that this bill will help solve the retention and care issues we are seeing in our hospitals. 

I love the Mayo Clinic and support the work that they do, but I disagree with their opposition to this bill. This bill allows nurses to be heard in staffing committees and does not impose a one-size-fits-all system. I believe this bill, which is the product of years of work and compromise, is the best step forward and I will continue to advocate in support of the Keeping Nurses at the Bedside Act.

Lawns 2 Legumes!

The Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) is once again accepting applications for grants for the Lawns to Legumes program. This program aims to increase habitat for at-risk pollinators in residential settings across the state by providing people with cost-share funding, workshops, coaching, and gardening resources. The new application period is open, and applications will be accepted through June 30, 2023. Details:


Description automatically generated

Stay Connected!

To share your input or ideas, or if I can ever be of assistance, please feel free to reach out at or 651-296-9249, and I will be happy to help. If you were forwarded this email and you’d like to subscribe, click here. If you have a friend or neighbor who would be interested in receiving these, please forward this and encourage them to subscribe!


Andy Smith,
State Representative