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Women’s economic bill passes in Minn.

ST. PAUL — A bill to improve women’s economic status is headed into law.

After the House and Senate passed the final version of the bill (senators on a 43-24 vote late Thursday), Gov. Mark Dayton could sign it as early as Mother’s Day.

“This is victory for women in Minnesota and their families,” Sen. Sandra Pappas, D-St. Paul, said. “For too long, in spite of laws we have had on the books for over 50 years, women have not been treated equally in the workplace.”

The bill gives pregnant women and new parents greater accommodations in their jobs and doubles unpaid parental leave to 12 weeks. It also requires most companies with state contracts of more than $500,000 to pay men and women equal salaries for equal jobs.

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