Legislative Update Feb. 15, 2023
MAPE has been closely following and urging passage of a number of bills during this 2023-2024 legislative biennium. Some of the recent highlights include:
Our first victory this year was having Gov. Walz sign Juneteenth into law as a state holiday. Juneteenth, or June 19, commemorates the emancipation of enslaved Black Americans. Though Juneteenth was included in our contract last year, confusion abounded as it wasn’t a state-recognized holiday and all agencies had to continue to remain open. This is a victory for equity and we are happy to see what is in our contract reflected in state law.
The Public Employment Relations Board (PERB)
Later this week, on the House floor, lawmakers are expected to discuss the Public Employment Relations Board bill which proposes to fully fund the agency. PERB was created by the Legislature in 2014 to handle unfair labor practice claims for public sector employees. The bill is still in committee in the Senate.
Paid Family Medical Leave
Paid Family Medical Leave continues to make its way through more than a dozen legislative committees. We are closely watching the amendment process.
The Minnesota Paid Family Leave Act would allow workers to take paid leave for up to 12 weeks of medical leave and up to 12 weeks for family leave after workers and employers pay a tax into a fund. The program would especially benefit low-income Minnesotans and people of color who are less likely to have paid leave through their jobs.
Local 401’s Lee Sullivan, a revenue tax specialist, recently testified in support of H.F. 2 Paid Family Medical Leave and S.F. 4, earned sick and safe time.
The House State Government Policy and Finance committee passed H.F. 800, a bill that ratified the various memorandums of understanding (MOU) between MAPE and MMB. The bill is headed next to the floor.