Senate Passes Bill Blocking City, County Workplace Laws

April 20, 2017 06:05 PM

The Minnesota Senate passed a bill Thursday preempting cities and counties from enacting their own workplace laws, including those involving minimum wage and sick leave.

The House passed a similar bill earlier in the session.


"A patchwork of inconsistent labor standards from city to city or county to county, or both cities and counties would be extremely confusing," said Sen. Jeremy Miller, R-Winona.

RELATED: Minnesota House Passes Bill Requiring Uniform Labor Standards

Miller said it would put a major burden on businesses to have to conform to potentially dozens of different standards in Minnesota's 853 cities and 87 counties.

The bill passed the Senate 35-31, with all but one Democrat (Sen. Dan Sparks, DFL-Austin) voting against it.

Most Democrats said the state should allow local governments to pass laws that are best for their communities.

RELATED: Minnesota Senate Committee Passes Bill Banning City Sick Pay Laws

"When we see a bill that seeks to unify or put forth some uniform standards,  that's denying the diversity and not recognizing the diversity of our wonderful state," said Sen. Bobby Joe Champion, DFL-Minneapolis.

Minneapolis sparked interest in the bill among Republicans by passing a new sick leave law and considering it's own minimum wage ordinance.

Governor Mark Dayton said at a news conference Thursday that he still hasn't taken a position on the bill and will wait to see what compromise the House and Senate reach.

Also Thursday, Dayton met with Republican House and Senate leaders and urged them to reconcile differences they have on budget bills before he gets involved.

House Speaker Kurt Daudt, R-Crown, urged the governor to get involved sooner to avoid pushing negotiations too close to the May 22 session deadline.

"Minnesotans will be better served if the governor is at the table negotiating immediately and not sitting out," Daudt told reporters after meeting with the governor. "So my hope is he will be engaged."


Tom Hauser

Copyright 2017 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company