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Fogelman votes no on government-run paid leave bill

A plan that creates a mandatory, government-run paid leave program has been approved in the Minnesota House. District 21B Rep. Marj Fogelman, a Fulda Republican, opposed the measure.

Fogelman said the nearly $3 billion program will be paid for by a brand-new tax on employers and employees and expands employers’ leave obligations to part-time and temporary employees. She added her belief that the program will come at an immense cost to every worker and job provider in the state at a time when they can't afford it.

Unlike the Federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which only applies to employers with 50 or more employees, Fogelman said the House Democrat paid family and medical leave program would apply to all employers including those with only one employee.

The Minnesota Chamber of Commerce says that 80% of its members already provide paid family leave. Fogelman noted that this bill threatens workers benefits, and employees may end up with a worse paid family leave program than the one their employer currently offers.

Along with the $3 billion tax increase, Fogelman said as many as 400 new full-time employees will need to be hired to develop and administrate the statewide program.

The bill now heads to the Minnesota Senate for further debate.

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