A coalition of DFL legislators is launching an effort to ensure that all workers in the state have paid family and sick leave, an issue emerging as a top priority for Democrats this legislative session.Well, all righty then. And lookit the benefits!
Assistant Senate Majority Leader Katie Sieben, DFL-Cottage Grove, said Monday it would help families in challenging financial times.
“A paid family leave program in Minnesota will ensure that workers have some degree of security when a major life event occurs,” said Sieben, the chief Senate sponsor. “Families need time together when a major life event occurs. … It seems to me this is the most basic family value.”
Nearly 136,000 workers in Minnesota would benefit from the program each year, according to a study conducted by the University of Minnesota and the Institute for Women’s Policy Research. Up to $461.8 million in benefits would be paid out a year.How cool is that? Up to $461.8 million! Where is the money coming from?
The proposal would establish a state insurance program that would offer workers in the state a portion of their pay for up to 12 weeks a year for pregnancy or medical issues. Workers would also receive 12 weeks of paid leave to care for a sick family or to care for a newborn child.Oh, you get to share the costs! Sharing is good! In other words, the gubmint is going to take money out of your current income, and the income of others, and establish a fund that will require a few benevolent administrators to administrate, and call it a benefit. But what if you don't want it?
Employers and employees would share the costs of the program, which is estimated to cost workers earning the state median income about $1.70 a week. Workers would be reimbursed up to 80 percent of their pay while taking leave.
The Legislature would need to come up with some start-up money, but Senate staff said they won’t know how much until fiscal analysts can determine the initial cost.
While the program would be mandatory for employers and employees to participate in, it would not be required for employers with existing paid family and sick leave policies.Remember -- as always, the gubmint knows best. You might not be saving enough money or spending it on stupid stuff, so Nurse Katie will see to it that you comply. It's for the best.