State officials say legislature's approval is enough to keep offering the program.

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 (http://bit.ly/2reYxuu ) 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.


Minnesota 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.


"We negotiate these contracts. We submit them for approval or disapproval," he said. "So the last step is approval or disapproval by the Legislature, which they accomplished on May 24 and May 25."
But some lawmakers aren't buying it.


Rep. Pat Garofalo, R-Farmington, said the parental leave add-on for all unions wasn't ratified even though the engineer contract was approved. Garofalo notes that there's specific language saying the leave policy wouldn't happen without the full bill being enacted.


"It is an issue of checks and balances," Garofalo said. "It's important to understand that on these memorandums of understanding, if a Democratic governor can do this today and be allowed to do it, there's nothing to stop a Republican governor from doing this in the future."


Minnesota's labor unions are proceeding with the interpretation of the governor's administration.