2023 Legislative Session Closes Many big wins for labor

Publish Date

The 2023 legislative session started on January 3 and never let up until adjournment on May 22. After years of gridlock under divided government, the pro-labor majority swept into power in the 2022 election with a $17.5 billion surplus began working on the backlog of massive policy bills and correcting the historic divestment in public institutions and services. 

MAPE had several top tier priorities this session, including pushing the governor and the legislature to build large operating adjustments into their budgets for negotiating fair wages, passing Paid Family and Medical Leave, strengthening public sector labor rights under PELRA, removing the legislature from our contract ratification process and improving our pension benefits. MAPE also worked with numerous coalitions on Driver’s Licenses for All, Restore the Vote, passing the Equal Rights Act constitutional amendment and enacting a tax bill that increases revenue to maintain the state’s long-term fiscal health. Below are some brief highlights on things we worked diligently on: 

Labor Policy 

  • Backpay for state employees in the event of a shutdown 

  • Staffing ratios included as a mandatory subject of bargaining  

  • Public employers must provide personal information of employees and new hires to exclusive representatives 

  • Statutory protection for dues remittance 

  • Guaranteed access to new employee orientation 

  • Funding for PERB to operate and adjudicate unfair labor practice claims 

State Government/ Elections/ Veterans Affairs 

  • Removes collective bargaining agreements and arbitration awards from requiring legislative approval 

  • Creates a feasibility study to explore whether legislative employees can unionize and how 

  • Implements the recommendations from the taskforce for retaining state employees with disabilities 

  • Creates a legislative taskforce on aging to begin reviewing the state’s available resources to support our aging population  


  • MSRS General 

  • A temporary 0.5 percent contribution shift from employee to employer 

  • One-time 2.5 percent COLA relief for retirees and moving up the date for the 0.5 percent increase on the ongoing COLA to from January 1, 2024 to immediate 

  • Changing the vesting period from 5 years to 3 years 


  • Direct state aid to fund is extended for another 3 years 

  • IRAP Employees 

  • Employer contribution rates to IRAP will now match TRA rates 

  • Employees will also see a 0.25 percent increase in their contribution rates due to TRA changes in the Tax omnibus  

Paid Family and Medical Leave (Start date 2026) 

  • Paid Leave benefit for up to 20 weeks of partial wage replacement  

  • Employees will contribute a payroll deduction of up to 0.35 percent of salary  

  • No requirement to spend accruals before accessing the benefit 

Higher Education 

  • $50 million direct state aid for campuses 

  • Frozen tuition for 2 years that is paid for and not pushed onto campuses 

  • Free college attendance for certain income groups (last dollar in program to cover needs not met by grants) 

Health and Human Services 

  • Full operating adjustments 

  • Protection language for employees affected by potential transfer to new agencies of Children, Youth and Families and Direct Care and Treatment as an independent agency 

Public Safety and Corrections 

  • Over $350 million in FY 24-25 in new money to DOC for staffing, recruitment and retention, and programming  

  • New funding formula and FTEs for community supervision  


  • Increases to vehicle registration and license fees, and a $0.50 fee on deliveries over $100  

  • New tax revenue includes indexing the gas tax to inflation, a 0.75 percent metro area sales tax for transit, and a 10 year phase-in of the shift from auto parts sales tax from the general fund to the Highway User Tax Distribution fund 


  • $181 million in Minnesota State Higher Education Asset Preservation and Replacement 

  • $247 million to Department of Natural Resources (includes local government projects) 

  • $16 million to Mn Zoo for asset preservation 

  • $90 million to Veterans Affairs for asset preservation and Hastings Home upgrades 

  • $47 million to Human Services for various projects 

  • $56 million to Corrections for asset preservation and Lino Lakes building upgrade 


  • Implements federal conformity on global intangible low-taxed income (GILTI) on corporations 

  • Phases out itemized deductions for high income earners 

  • Expands working family child tax credits and makes renter credit reimbursable through income filing 

  • Full social security income tax exemption raised to households earning $140,000 in retirement income