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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Tama Theis (R)

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Capitol Update from Rep. Tama Theis

Monday, August 3, 2015

Dear Neighbors,

I hope you're all enjoying your summer. Although the legislature is currently not in session, I wanted to send you an update about several new laws passed earlier this year that took effect on August 1. We passed a number of great bipartisan bills this session, and now many of those are becoming law.

Here are some highlights of a few of the new laws taking effect this month:

Prize-Linked Savings

Updating state statute to reflect federal law, credit unions and banks will be allowed to offer raffle participation to their customers who use a savings account. This simple change to state law is a win-win for everyone involved, and offers a great incentive for people to grow their savings. 

Right to Try for Investigational Drugs

For terminally ill patients in Minnesota who have exhausted all conventional forms of recovery, they will now be able to have their physician write a prescription for experimental treatments as a last resort. While these drugs and treatments will need to have at least passed the first phase of a clinical trial, they will not need general approval by the FDA to be used.

Military Spouses and Family Day Created

A new law designates the Sunday before Memorial Day as an unofficial holiday recognizing military spouses and families, giving us a special opportunity to honor their support and sacrifices. The governor will issue a proclamation each year honoring this observance.

Texting While Driving

Starting on August 1, fines will increase to $225 for second and subsequent texting while driving convictions. Texting while driving is still a serious problem in our state, distracting drivers and putting people on the roads at risk. Hopefully, this will encourage safer driving practices and cut down on accidents.

As always, I welcome your input on legislation and want to hear more about issues important to you. Please don’t hesitate to schedule a meeting, call my office or send me an email. I am here to serve you!

It’s an honor to be your voice at the Capitol.