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Dayton Calls for Parenting Leave

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton (D) proposed offering six weeks of paid leave for new parents in state employ, the first move in what is expected to be an effort by DFL lawmakers to pass legislation providing the same benefit to all Gopher State workers. Under Dayton’s proposal, 35,000 workers would be eligible for the benefit, though officials estimate only about 500 would use it annually. The program would cost approximately $6 million a year. Dayton acknowledged that his Democratic colleagues were disappointed at his incremental approach, but called his proposal “a very big step forward.” DFL lawmakers are expected to introduce legislation next month that would require most public and private employers to offer workers paid family leave that extends the benefit to people caring for sick family members. Similar legislation failed last session. (MINNEAPOLIS STAR-TRIBUNE, DAILY JOURNAL)