Abortion, conversion therapy and earned sick time slated for discussion Wednesday in St. Paul

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Wednesday, multiple topics will be discussed at the Minnesota state Capitol, including abortion rights, conversion therapy and earned sick time – all of which are in various stages throughout the legislature.

DFL legislators say abortion rights are their top priority during this legislative session and will continue their push on codifying them into state law. The proposal to codify abortion access will go in front of a senate committee at 12:30 p.m.

Unlike in other states and countries — this bill does not have restrictions on when an abortion can be performed. So far, Republicans have failed in attempts to amend the bill with restrictions.

In addition, a bill requiring private businesses across the state to provide paid sick time to employees will have its first senate hearing.

The “Earned Sick and Safe Time” bill would require that workers be able to earn at least 48 hours of sick leave per year — with the ability to carry 80 unused hours over to following years. Similar measures are already required in four Minnesota cities, Minneapolis, St. Paul, Bloomington, and Duluth. A total of 14 other states and Washington, D.C. also have paid sick time requirements.

Critics say the bill could hurt small businesses.

Meanwhile, the House Human Services Policy Committee will hold a public hearing on banning conversion therapy in Minnesota.

That bill would prohibit mental health practitioners and professionals from providing conversion therapy to minors and vulnerable adults. The bill specifies that such therapy is not covered by medical assistance. It also prohibits any fraudulent or deceptive advertising practices related to conversion therapy.

The hearing for the bill is open to the public and begins at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 18 in Room 200 of the State Office Building.