St. Paul, MN — The joint House/Senate Jobs & Energy Conference Committee held their first public hearing this afternoon. With all House DFL members present, Senate GOP Co-Chair Eric Pratt was the only senator in attendance, and left before testimony concluded. The committee heard testimony on the Paid Family and Medical Leave Act, Earned Sick and Safe Time, and Wage Theft Prevention and Enforcement.
"Minnesotans expect the Legislature to complete their work in a timely manner, and there’s no time to play political games with the future of working Minnesotans," said Co-Chair Tim Mahoney (DFL – St. Paul). "We were able to hear testimony on important provisions that protect wages and invest in Minnesota’s working families. These are chief components of the House DFL budget, and the testimony on them warrants the attention of our Senate colleagues."
Testifiers for the Paid Family and Medical Leave Act included Rep. Laurie Halverson, the act’s author, and DEED Commissioner Steve Grove, who offered the strong support of the Walz Administration for the act. Rep. John Lesch offered testimony on his Earned Sick and Safe Time legislation, and Co-Chair Tim Mahoney testified on his Wage Theft Prevention and Enforcement provision with Department of Labor and Industry Commissioner Nancy Leppink.
The House DFL Jobs & Energy budget invests in Minnesota’s working families by granting all Minnesotans the ability to care for their child, a family member, or themselves without fear of losing wages or their jobs. With 39,000 Minnesotans falling victim to wage theft in some form, the House DFL is also making it a priority to protect workers’ wages and hold accountable those that would cheat employees of their hard-earned dollars. Other provisions include job training for thousands of Minnesotans, along with significant investments to help entrepreneurs start businesses across the state.
The Senate GOP plan does not go nearly far enough to protect Minnesota’s working families.