The Potluck

Democrats advance bills on paid time off, environmental pollutants and worker safety standards

By: - February 17, 2023 12:42 pm

The Minnesota State Capitol in St. Paul as the sun sets on Election Day, November 3, 2020. Photo by Tony Webster.

The Democratic-led House and Senate continued pushing forward major legislation on paid time off, environmental pollutants, worker safety standards and marijuana legalization. Here are some highlights from the Legislature’s work this week:

  • House Democrats passed a bill (HF19/SF34) mandating employers provide up to six days of paid sick leave a year.
  • House Democrats released a $2 billion “bonding package” — what we call an infrastructure package at the Reformer. The borrowing bills will be heard in the House Capital Investment Committee on Monday and there will be a hearing for public testimony on Wednesday.
  • The Senate committee on local government laid over a bill (SF1220) that would give the Senate 60 legislative days to reject a governor’s cabinet appointment, or the commissioner would be automatically confirmed.
  • The marijuana legalization bill (HF100/SF73) passed the House’s human services and education finance committees and the Senate Transportation committee.
  • The drivers’ licenses for all bill (HF4/SF27) is working its way through the Senate after passing the House. It passed out of the Senate Finance committee this week.
  • The House passed two bills to make child care more affordable for low-income Minnesotans. One (HF150) would allocate over $52 million in early learning scholarships and provider stabilization funds. The other (HF13) raises reimbursement rates for affordable child care providers, known as the Child Care Assistance Program.
  • The House environment committee advanced a bill (HF1000/SF834) banning PFAS “forever chemicals” from non-essential products starting in 2025. The bill was sent to the commerce committee.
  • A House judiciary committee passed a bill (HF305) that would strip from statute fees for copies of civil and criminal court documents. Remember how the courts were going to charge $8 per document downloaded online? It heads to Ways and Means next.
  • A ban on “conversion therapy” (HF16/SF23) will head to the House and Senate floors.
  • New regulations aimed at curbing catalytic converter thefts (HF30/SF5) passed Ways and Means and heads to the House floor on Monday.
  • A bill (HF55/SF19) to create an office for missing and murdered Black women and girls also heads to the House floor on Monday.
  • A bill providing up to 24 weeks of paid family and leave (HF2/SF2) passed the House human services committee. The bill provides 12 weeks off for one’s own health condition or pregnancy and up to 12 weeks off to care for a family member or for bonding.
  • A bill with new safety regulations for meatpacking plants (HF23/SF207) passed the House labor committee and was heard in the Senate labor committee.

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Max Nesterak
Max Nesterak

Max Nesterak is the deputy editor of the Reformer and reports on labor and housing. Most recently he was an associate producer for Minnesota Public Radio after a stint at NPR. He also co-founded the Behavioral Scientist and was a Fulbright Scholar to Berlin, Germany.