“Gov. Mark Dayton dove Tuesday into the national debate over parental leave benefits, announcing a proposal to give state employees six weeks of paid time off after the birth or an adoption of a child,” reports MPR News’ Brian Bakst.
Dayton said he’ll include $6 million in funding for the proposed benefit as part of a budget package he’ll release early in the 2016 legislative session. The governor’s office said all of the 35,000 state employees would be eligible for the benefit which would amount to an average of $6,200 in wages if they would have had to forego pay. State figures show it probably would be used by 500 workers in any given year.
“For far too long, we have forced tens of thousands of hard-working parents to make an impossible choice: to spend time with their newborn or recently adopted child, or earn the money they need to care for their families,” Dayton said.
The Democratic governor stopped short of recommending a new law requiring the benefit be offered by all Minnesota employers but argued the state would be leading by example. Some of the lawmakers who joined him at the Capitol press conference said they intend to make a broader push.
Today’s Question: Should parents get six weeks of paid leave?