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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Lucy Rehm (DFL)

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Release: Rep. Rehm supports Paid Family and Medical Leave’s passage in the House

Tuesday, May 2, 2023

SAINT PAUL, Minn. - Today, the Minnesota House of Representatives passed HF 2 on a vote of 68-64 to establish a statewide Paid Family and Medical Leave program. The program would be administered by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) in conjunction with its Unemployment Insurance (UI) program. 

Representative Lucy Rehm (DFL-Chanhassen) is a co-author on the bill and voted to support the measure and its passage. 

“All Minnesotans deserve time to care for themselves and family members, whether it’s for a new baby, an unexpected illness, or an aging parent,” said Rep. Rehm. “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’re doing to help Minnesotans afford their lives, like investing in affordable housing, ensuring no child goes hungry at school, and reducing health care costs.”

Less than 20% of workers in the United States 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 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 that does not allow 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 bill’s companion is traveling in the Minnesota Senate.