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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Fue Lee (DFL)

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Legislative Update - July 26, 2019

Friday, July 26, 2019

NEW LAWS TAKE EFFECT AUGUST 1
Many new laws take effect next Thursday, August 1, 2019. Among the issues addressed are: EpiPen administration, racially restrictive property titles, and predatory offender penalties. More details are below.
 
More families could be reunited through expansion of reestablishment petitions
A new law will allow individuals whose parental rights have been terminated to petition for the reestablishment of the legal parent-child relationship once they have corrected the conditions that led to the termination of their parental rights.

The application process calls for details including treatment and work histories, why the parent decided to seek reunification, how it is in their child’s best interest, and comments from guardians and caseworkers.

Expanded distracted driving law 
Minnesota will join a growing list of states with prohibitions on holding cellphones and other wireless communication devices while behind the wheel.
 
The new law broadens the state’s existing ban on texting while driving, barring drivers from holding a cellphone or other wireless communication device while operating a vehicle.
 
Drivers will be required to use hands-free technology when making calls, sending messages, or accessing content — including audio and navigation software — behind the wheel. Calls and messages made or composed using a hands-free device are exempt from the prohibition, as are messages or calls placed to obtain emergency assistance. 
 
New law sheds more light on clinic fees
Provider-based clinics will need to disclose facility fees for nonemergency services before treatment.
 
Intended to ensure patients are not surprised by separate charges resulting in higher out-of-pocket expenses than expected, the law will require prominently posted and easily accessed statements informing patients of potential separate charges relating to use of the facility.
 
Retaliation in nursing homes prohibited 
A new law provides a framework for licensure of assisted living facilities by Aug. 1, 2021.
 
However, a portion taking effect two years sooner prohibits a nursing home from retaliating against a resident or employee for filing a complaint, filing a maltreatment report, seeking help from or reporting a crime to the nursing home or others, or participating in an investigation or legal proceeding.
 
Illegal retaliation could include any form of discrimination, restriction or prohibition of visitors, withholding of food or care, discharge or transfer, or unauthorized removal, tampering with or deprivation of technology, communication or electronic monitoring devices.
 
Rejecting racially restrictive covenants
Homeowners who find that their property titles contain racial restrictions will have an opportunity to reject them.
 
Although it has been illegal to include such covenants since the passage of the federal Fair Housing Act in 1968, language restricting homeowners from selling their property to individuals based on their religion, national origin, race or color remains attached to many property titles.
 
Rejecting a restrictive covenant will not alter the text of the title. Instead, it will add an affidavit to the title stating that the homeowner has rejected the covenant.
 
Summaries of all laws passed by the 2019 Legislature are available online from nonpartisan House Public Information Services at http://www.house.mn/newlaws/#/search/2019.
 
I encourage you to contact me with any questions, comments, concerns, or ideas on any legislative topic. Also, I am available during select hours on Monday and Friday mornings most weeks for in-district meetings, if Northside residents aren’t able to make it to the Capitol. If you would like to send me a message or set up an in-district meeting, you can reach me by phone at 651-296-4262 or by email at rep.fue.lee@house.mn. I look forward to hearing from you!
 
Somali language e-update sign up page: http://eepurl.com/gjxKHH
 
Hmong language e-update sign up page: http://eepurl.com/gjxCHH
 
Spanish language e-update sign up page: http://eepurl.com/gjxIaf