The Democrat-controlled Minnesota Senate passed a paid family and medical leave bill Thursday on a party-line vote of 34-to-32. The bill now goes to Governor Tim Walz, who will likely sign it.  Rochester Democrat Liz Boldon contends it’s necessary and told the story of one family’s siblings…

Republicans warn the program’s cost will force some of Minnesota’s half-million small businesses to close their doors and employees will lose their jobs.  District 23 Senator Gene Dornink, a Republican from Brownsdale stated that business owners also have to support families…

Employees could take up to 12 weeks of family leave and up to 12 weeks of medical leave, with a maximum of 20 weeks per calendar year.  Backers of the bill have stated that employers with less than 30 employees could get reduced premiums, and many employers with fewer than 10 employees would pay no premiums at all.  The program will start collecting premiums through employer and employee contributions, and benefits will be available beginning January 1st, 2026.  Lawmakers are designating $668 million from the budget surplus to front load the program through its first phase of operation.

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