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Legislative News and Views - Rep. John Heinrich (R)

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Legislative Update from Rep. Heinrich

Monday, July 29, 2019

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

On August 1st, many new laws go into effect, and I wanted to take some time to let you know about some of the ones you might be interested in.

Hands Free

You may have seen news coverage or public information campaigns on the “hands-free cell phone” law, which prohibits holding cell phones and other wireless communication devices while behind the wheel of a car. The law now allows drivers to make phone calls, text, listen to music, and get directions, but only by voice commands or single-touch activation without holding the phone.

There are exceptions for obtaining emergency assistance if there is an immediate threat to life and safety, or when in an authorized emergency vehicle while performing official duties.

Other new laws beginning August 1st

  • People who successfully complete a training program will now be allowed to administer Epi-Pens to help someone having an allergic reaction.
  • Provider-based clinics will now need to disclose facility fees for nonemergency services before treatment – this law is intended to ensure patients are not surprised by separate charges related to the use of the facility, which result in higher out-of-pocket costs.
  • A new law prohibits retaliation against residents or employees of a nursing home or a housing with services establishment who intends to file a complaint, reports maltreatment, or participates in a legal proceeding, among other protected activities
  • The omnibus transportation bill included a provision requiring slow vehicles to stay on the right side of the road, and moving out of the left-most lane to allow others to pass.
  • A new law allows an officer to issue a citation to a driver if a work zone flagger has reported a traffic violation, such as speeding or violating traffic flagger directions.
  • Light rail train drivers will now be subject to reckless and careless driving laws, with penalties of a fine of up to $3,000 and imprisonment for up to one year if a violation causes great bodily harm or death.
  • Applicants for permits, licenses, or other approval related to real estate development or construction may now request an estimate of the consulting fees they will be charged by a city related to their application
  • If a person fails a test to determine if they are operating a motor vehicle under the influence, their snowmobile, ATV, and motorboat operating privileges will now be revoked.

This is not a comprehensive list, so if there are particular law changes you are interested in, please feel free to contact my office.

Please Contact Me

Please feel free to contact me anytime to share questions or concerns you have on any legislative matter. I can be reached at 651-296-1729 or rep.john.heinrich@house.mn.

Sincerely,

John

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