Paid sick-leave policies in Minneapolis and St. Paul are likely to survive, after Republican legislators pulled back from an effort to block Minnesota cities from setting their own workplace standards.

In a last-minute deal late Monday night, Republicans agreed to send the so-called "preemption" measure to Gov. Mark Dayton as its own bill, rather than as a provision in a larger budget measure. Dayton has said he plans to veto it, but stakeholders said Tuesday that they'd believe it when they saw it.

"Certainly, while this looks like a solid agreement between the Legislature and the Governor, anything could change," said Anne Finn, assistant director of intergovernmental relations for the League of Minnesota Cities, which has advocated for local control.

St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman said in a statement that Dayton's plan to veto the measure "sends a strong message that Minnesotans will not allow a few at the Capitol to usurp the will of individual communities."

The Republican-controlled House and Senate voted earlier in the session to overturn paid sick-leave policies in Minneapolis and St. Paul, and to block all Minnesota cities from raising the minimum wage or enacting other workplace standards.

Minneapolis and St. Paul are the only cities that have passed sick-leave ordinances. The Minneapolis City Council is also preparing to increase the minimum wage citywide.

Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges said, "I'm very grateful for the Governor's vocal support of local control and decision-making."

Supporters of preemption have argued that a patchwork of labor standards across the state would hurt businesses, while opponents countered that city leaders should be able to make decisions about what's best for their communities.

Emma Nelson • 612-673-4509