Democrats’ fast-tracked plan for paid family and medical leave has its first Minnesota Senate hearing today (Wed), after Governor Tim Walz spotlighted it Tuesday afternoon at a small business in Saint Paul:

“Eight days ago in our inaugural addresses, we made it very clear that the well-being of children and families is going to be the center of what we do.  It shouldn’t be any mystery to anyone or a surprise that paid family and medical leave is one of the big pieces in that puzzle to make those families complete.”

Backers want a state-run program financed by premiums paid by employers, similar to unemployment insurance.  Employers could charge-back their employees for up to half the cost.   Business groups say many employers already provide leave to their employees and a mandatory program would put even more financial burden on businesses that are struggling.