(ST. PAUL, MN) The Senate today passed an innovative paid family leave bill to expand access and provide tax incentives to businesses that offer the benefit to their employees. Introduced by Senator Julia Coleman (R-Waconia), this legislation offers a free-market solution that gives small businesses the opportunity to customize a plan to meet employees’ individual needs.
“We have heard from Minnesotans about the need to ensure greater access to paid family leave. Businesses want to offer their employees more, and families need more help. My bill meets both needs,” Sen. Julia Coleman said. “This legislation expands the availability of paid leave across Minnesota, particularly for those who work for small businesses. Businesses can provide a competitive benefit that suits their workforce’s unique needs, and families will have more options to care for their loved ones in a time of need.”
The Senate Republican paid family leave bill has two main components. First, it creates an insurance product to provide for paid family leave insurance. Currently, this product is not allowed under Minnesota law and businesses self-finance their paid family leave offerings. By creating this product, more businesses will be able to use insurance to finance a leave offering and the offering will be directly suited to the needs of families. Unlike the one-size-fits-all government-run program proposed by Democrats, this bill allows businesses and insurers to develop customized products to give more flexibility to families and employers.
The second component provides a tax incentive to businesses with fewer than 50 employees to offer paid family leave. Small businesses employ nearly half of all working Minnesotans, and many of them have struggled to finance a paid leave benefit for their employees. Offering a tax credit will help more businesses offer paid leave to more Minnesotans. This tax credit will be included as part of a larger tax bill that is expected to pass the Senate on Wednesday, May 11.
“Senate Republicans remain committed to making Minnesota the best place to live, work, and raise a family,” Senate Majority Leader Jeremy Miller (R-Winona) said. “This paid leave plan provides workers and employers with options to meet their individual needs without bureaucracy, mandates, or costly tax hikes.”