New laws go into effect Aug. 1. Below, I have included a quick snapshot of the changes. You can find more information by logging on to http://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/hinfo/Newlaws2010-0.asp and running a search for the key words in the headlines.
ACCOUNTANT REQUIREMENTS CLARIFIED
-Certified public accountant licensing standards will be clarified under a new law.
DEPUTY REGISTRAR TERMS WON'T EXPIRE
-Nearly half of the 174 deputy registrars in the state are incorporated and were destined by state statute to lose their appointments in 2012; but thanks to a new law that won’t happen.
BATTERY RECYCLING FEE INCREASED
-A new law modifies a 20-year-old statute requiring consumers who purchase new, lead acid batteries to either recycle their old batteries or pay a $5 fee.
KEEPING LAWS UP WITH NEW TOBACCO
-Tobacco Modernization and Compliance Act of 2010 closes the loophole on products like nicotine strips that melt in your mouth and orbs that look like Tic Tacs that supporters say target younger generations.
DIRECTORY SCAMS BANNED
-Out-of-state companies that pretend to be homegrown Minnesota businesses will be guilty of deceptive business practices under a new law.
ENSURING CONSUMER CHOICE
-Renters will be guaranteed the right to purchase cable or telephone services from a provider of their own choosing under a new law.
IMPOUND NOTICE DATE EXCLUSIONS
-Government workers and impound lot operators won’t have to count Saturdays, Sundays and legal holidays among the five days they have to notify a registered vehicle owner and lien holders of a vehicle that their vehicle has been impounded.
EXPANDED SERVICE ANIMAL HARM PENALTY
-It is already a misdemeanor to intentionally cause bodily harm to a service animal. A similar charge could be imposed against someone who intentionally renders a service animal unable to perform its duties.
A FELONY FOR SKIMMING TOOL
-A new law will make it a felony for someone to possess a scanning device or reencoder used to acquire information from payment cards, a driver’s license or state-issued identification card with “the intent to commit, aid, or abet any unlawful activity.”
NO SALVIA DIVINORUM POSSESSION
-Minnesota will be joining 20 other states in making possession of the hallucinogenic drug salvia divinorum illegal.
GETTING A POST-SENTENCE DNA SAMPLE
-A judge will be given permission to order an offender who did not submit a required DNA sample to provide one even if the offender’s sentence has expired.
BIODIESEL MANDATE EXEMPTION EXTENDED
-An exemption during the winter months on the state’s biodiesel content requirement will be extended to March 31, 2012.
AFTER-DEATH CARE MODIFIED
-Family members will have more options in providing after-death care to their loved ones under a new law.
CHILDREN'S CAVITY PREVENTION
-Primary care providers are encouraged to provide basic cavity prevention services to children and teens on Medical Assistance, under a new law.
HEALTH CARE DIRECTIVE CLARIFICATION
-A new law clarifies 2009 legislation relating to health care directives for wards and protected people.
LICENSING HOME CARE PROVIDERS
-A new law broadens the enforcement powers of the Department of Health related to home care licensing.
LICENSURE REQUIREMENTS MODIFIED
-A new law indicates a counselor whose license was terminated prior to Aug. 1, 2010, does not need to complete certain continuing education activities, including those for re-licensure, if the person has completed a specific number of postgraduate semester credit hours.
STUDENT MENTAL HEALTH EMERGENCY NOTIFICATION
-Colleges and universities will be able to notify parents in cases where a student has a mental health emergency.
LANDLORD-TENANT CHANGES ENACTED
-Landlord advocates and tenant advocates have agreed to a compromise on some issues that have been a source of contention, including that landlords now must provide receipts if the rent or other payments are paid in cash.
JOINT POWERS CAN INCLUDE TRIBES, HISTORICAL SOCIETY
-A new law allows the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe and other federally recognized American Indian tribes, as well as the Minnesota Historical Society, to enter into joint powers agreements.
CHEATING ON EXAMS COULD RESULT IN CIVIL ACTION
-A civil action could be taken against someone who deliberately cheats with respect to a board licensing or certification examination according to a new law.
READABLE ELECTRONIC DOCUMENTS
-A new law will make it is easier for a public defender to access documents as audio or video files on CD Rom or DVD Rom disc” will be added to the list of documents which must be provided upon request.
CITY EMPLOYEES CAN'T SERVE IN CITY LEADERSHIP POSITION
-Full-time, permanent employees of a city will be prohibited from serving as mayor or on the city council.
FIREFIGHTERS MAY COLLECT FOR CHARITY
-Firefighters have raised money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association by collecting spare change from motorists stopped at red lights. A new law gives them the green light to continue to use the “Fill the Boot” strategy to raise funds for charity for up to three days a year.
MORE SECURITIES LENDING OPTIONS
-A new law will expand the options for municipalities to do business with financial institutions that have a bank office located in the state. The former law required them to do business with a Minnesota-based lender.
NORTH BRANCH TO HONOR WAR HEROES
-In remembrance of a war hero’s sacrifice, a stretch of Highway 95 in North Branch will be renamed the “Corporal Johnathan Benson Memorial Highway,” and a bridge will memorialize veterans. Additionally, the Highway 95 Bridge in North Branch will be renamed the “Veterans Memorial Bridge.
DESIGNATING AMERICAN LEGION DAY
-A new law designates Sept. 16 as American Legion Day.
KELSEY SMITH ACT
-The death of a Kansas teenager three years ago is the impetus behind a new law that will let law enforcement agencies track down missing persons by using their cell phone data.
WINDOW TINTING LAW EXPANDED
-Anyone who sells or applies vehicle window tints that have a light transmittance of less than 50 percent or a reflectance of more than 20 percent could be subject to a misdemeanor charge.
FIREFIGHTER BACKGROUND CHECKS
-Fire departments will be permitted to run criminal background checks on current employees no more than once per year.
PENALTY CHANGES FOR GUNS AT SCHOOL
-Judges will have more options in sentencing someone who brings a firearm to school.
NEW SEXUAL CONDUCT CHANGES
-An employee of, or volunteer at, a secure residential treatment facility who has sexual contact with a resident of the facility will have committed third- or fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct, even if the contact is consensual.
DOMESTIC ABUSE CHANGES NOW LAW
-A new law contains a number of provisions to help domestic abuse victims, including expanding the area for protection for a reasonable distance around a residence or dwelling of a person seeking an ex parte order for protection.
CHANGES TO MSOP POLICIES
-A new law modifies the statute that governs treatment of sexually dangerous persons and sexual psychopathic personalities.
BROADBAND FOR EVERYONE
-Minnesota intends to provide every resident the ability to access high-speed broadband Internet service by 2015.