Testimony of Ryan E. Hamilton on HF 1200 (Richardson) Paid Family Medical Leave

Testimony of Ryan E. Hamilton, Minnesota Catholic Conference Government Relations Associate
HF 1200 (Richardson) Paid Family Medical Leave
House Workforce and Business Development Finance and Policy
February 2, 2022

Watch the live testimony, with Ryan Hamilton speaking at about 30:00: 


Chair Noor and Members of the Committee: 

My name is Ryan Hamilton, and I am Government Relations Associate for the Minnesota Catholic Conference, the public policy voice of the Catholic Church in Minnesota. 

We support the creation of paid caregiver leave programs, and, due to the acute needs of Minnesota families, urge legislators to work collaboratively with employers and worker advocacy groups to find common ground for the common good.

During his visit to the United States, Pope Francis said “We cannot call any society healthy when it does not leave room for family life. We cannot think that a society has a future when it fails to pass laws capable of protecting families and ensuring their basic needs, especially those families just starting out.”

Today, too many working people are forced to make difficult financial choices between caring for a loved one and missing a paycheck, or even losing their job. When employers fail to protect the dignity and legitimate rights of workers, the state can step in to ensure that there is justice in employment relationships.

We commend the diligence and sense of urgency that this body has shown to address this urgent need for workers and families. HF1200 offers a reasonable solution but continues to face a level opposition that will likely prevent it from becoming law—perhaps it is time to add a measure of pragmatism to that sense of urgency?

The life events that create the need for paid leave also create a burden that employers and employees must find a way to carry together. And the truth is, there several ways that paid leave programs can be constructed.

For example, the Paid Family Leave program in New York is an insurance program that employees pay into through deductions from their paychecks. NY employers are responsible for the administrative aspects of the program and for providing the flexibility in the workplace for employees to utilize the benefit. 

In closing, if this bill continues to face such staunch opposition, we hope there will be a willingness amongst stakeholders to pivot towards a middle ground proposal that would honor the reciprocal relationship between employers and employees.     

Thank You


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