Minnesota workers could earn up to 48 hours of paid sick time each year under a measure legislators sent to the governor Tuesday.

Supporters said the requirement will help hundreds of thousands of Minnesotans who don't have access to the benefit and sometimes work while sick to avoid losing pay. But Republicans and business groups said it will be a costly mandate some employers can't afford.

Workers would be able to earn an hour off for every 30 worked under the provision, which was one piece of an expansive labor and jobs bill the Senate passed along party lines Tuesday, followed by House passage shortly before midnight.

"Workers shouldn't have to choose between going to work sick and being able to make rent or buy groceries that week," said Sen. Sandra Pappas, DFL-St. Paul.

Earned sick time was the most controversial change in the bill that also bolsters workplace safety requirements and devotes tens of millions to workforce development and business grants and loans. The bill would also allow adult-to-student staffing ratios to be part of educators' bargaining discussions, a move Republicans opposed.

Rep. Liz Olson, DFL-Duluth, called it one piece of a broader effort this year to right an economy that is "tilted against working families."

Democrats are using their control of state government to push measures that have workers celebrating but many business owners worried. Employers would have to pay for the sick and safe time requirement, which people would use for short-term absences.

Lawmakers are also moving on a separate paid family and medical leave program. It would be funded by a payroll tax on employers and employees and would provide workers with partial pay for longer absences, such as bonding time with a newborn or serious health conditions.

"Minnesota employers already provide employees with numerous benefits, including varied versions of sick and safe time leave policies," Lauryn Schothorst with the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce said in a statement. "However, a one-size-fits-all government mandate will restrict the ability of employers to meet the needs of their employees best."

Minneapolis, St. Paul, Duluth and Bloomington have already passed local laws requiring the short-term earned sick and safe time. The state legislation would expand the offering statewide for people who work at least 80 hours in a year for an employer.

The requirement would take effect Jan. 1, 2024. Places that have more generous sick time policies could continue to offer those.

Employees would be able to use the time for their own mental or physical illness, injury, health condition or preventive care, or to care for a family member.

Workers could also take time off for counseling, relocation or court proceedings if they or a family member experienced domestic abuse, sexual assault or stalking. They could use their earned hours if a workplace is closed due to weather or a public emergency, or a family member's school or place of care is closed for those reasons, and in certain circumstances related to communicable illnesses.

Workers could carry over unused sick time each year but could not accrue more than 80 hours unless the employer agrees to a higher sum.

Businesses that violate the law could face a $10,000 fine.

Republican legislators repeatedly attempted to halt the measure, which Sen. Rich Draheim, R-Madison Lake, called a "major program that affects all our cities, our counties, our schools and all our businesses, even our churches."

Many employers will not be able to shoulder the new cost of the benefit, GOP lawmakers said.

"I don't understand the rationale. … If we layer a number of burdens on groups that have no money already, that are already at risk of closing, how that's ever going to work," said Sen. Jim Abeler, R-Anoka. "It's going to cause grievous harm to nursing homes and to group homes and disability service providers."

Sen. Jen McEwen, DFL-Duluth, called that a "red herring," noting that many nursing homes already offer sick time.

Democrats who pushed for the bill have said the sick time requirement would add up to less than 1% of businesses' total labor costs.

The broad labor and jobs bill contains a mix of budget and policy changes beyond sick time.

It includes $125 million for grants and loans to businesses in communities hurt by civil unrest, structural racism, lack of capital access, aging or dwindling populations or a lack of diversity in their regional economy. Another $50 million would go to a "targeted population workforce program," which would fund skills training, diversity and inclusion training and community organizations. And there's a $33 million boost for the state tourism agency Explore Minnesota.

Warehouse distribution workers, such as employees at Amazon's facilities, would see new safety standards to ensure they can take breaks, have transparency around quotas and that work sites with high rates of worker injuries are investigated.

There would also be protections for meatpacking and poultry processing workers, more Occupational Safety and Health Administration inspectors and a new ergonomics program to look at how workers get injured on the job and reduce risks.

"This might be the most significant worker-protection bill that we've ever passed in the history of the state of Minnesota," said Rep. Michael Nelson, DFL-Brooklyn Park.