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Paid parental leave may survive bill veto

ST. PAUL — Thousands of state employees may still get access to paid parental leave for the next year even though Gov. Mark Dayton vetoed a bill containing the policy.

State officials plan to continue offering the policy, arguing that Dayton’s veto doesn’t matter and that the Legislature’s approval was enough, Minnesota Public Radio reported.

“It was a huge sense of relief,” said Jenna Bjork, a new mom who spent last week at the Capitol pleading for lawmakers to keep Minnesota’s relatively new leave policy in place.

Dayton had urged lawmakers to adopt the leave policy, but vetoed the bill this week because the Republican-led Legislature tied it to a push for local labor standards pre-emption. Lawmakers wanted to prevent cities from setting their own benefit and wage requirements for private employers if they went over state minimums.

Management and Budget Commissioner Myron Frans said this is a rare exception in which not everything in a bill goes down with a veto.

The executive branch negotiates labor agreements, but approval from the Legislature is required. Frans said Dayton’s veto doesn’t matter because that sign-off requirement was met once the Legislature passed the labor standards bill.