Paid family and medical leave bills head for Governor Waltz’s desk

ST. PAUL, MN — A bill to create a state-run paid family leave and medical leave program was passed by the Minnesota Senate late Thursday afternoon and sent to Gov. Tim Walz’s desk.

The Minnesota Senate voted 34-32 to create a program that gives up to 20 weeks of leave for serious medical conditions and family care, including bonding with newborns.

Both houses of parliament passed a paid vacation bill at the beginning of the session, but some differences had to be resolved in committee.

The benefits will begin in 2026, along with an increase in payroll taxes that fund the program.

Only 24% of the Minnesota workforce currently has paid time off, according to Democratic Senator Alice Mann of Edina, the bill’s lead author.

She said the “majority” were the highest earners in the state. She said only 6% of minimum wage workers, who are mostly women and people of color, get paid time off.

Eleven other states and Washington, DC have passed and implemented paid family and medical leave programs.

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