As July begins, several new state laws are set to take effect in Minnesota. While some laws have specific effective dates, many are determined by whether they contain appropriation items. In Minnesota, bills with appropriation items typically become law on July 1st, while those without generally take effect on August 1st unless otherwise specified. Here are some of the notable laws becoming effective on Saturday:
“Nurse and Patient Safety Act”: Under the “Nurse and Patient Safety Act,” various measures aimed at addressing healthcare working conditions, combating violence against healthcare workers through incident response action plans, and expanding the health professional loan forgiveness program will be implemented.
Parts of the Recreational Marijuana Bill: Certain provisions of the recreational marijuana bill, including monetary allocations for the establishment of the Office of Cannabis Management and taxes related to future cannabis sales, will take effect. However, legal possession of marijuana will still not be permitted until August 1st, which is also when the expungement process for past cannabis-related convictions will commence.
Tax and Fee Increases: Several taxes and fees will increase, such as the motor vehicle sales tax, which will rise from 6.5% to 6.875%. Costs for obtaining or renewing a driver’s license or ID card will also increase. However, the significant changes to gas taxes and fees for retail deliveries over $100 will not go into effect until 2024.
Broadband Expansion Funding: The law officially goes into effect, providing a $100 million increase in funding to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) for broadband expansion. The law also raises the maximum amount that can be allocated to a single project in the border-to-border broadband program.
“Digital Fair Repair Act”: Starting Saturday, manufacturers selling digital electronic equipment in Minnesota will be required to provide parts and tools that allow individuals to repair their devices, excluding video game consoles. This measure aims to promote repairability and reduce the costs associated with exclusive manufacturer repairs.
Efforts to Limit Excessive Drug Costs: Additional consumer protections will be implemented, including the formal allocation of funds for Minnesota’s Prescription Drug Affordability Board and a Prescription Drug Affordability Advisory Council. A law prohibiting excessive price increases of generic or off-patent drugs will also take effect.
Universal Free School Meals and Public School Funding Boost: The universal free school meals bill, ensuring free breakfast and lunch for all K-12 students funded by state and federal funds, officially goes into effect. Furthermore, increased funding for public schools will be implemented.
New Treatment Requirements for Peace Officer and Firefighter PTSD Retirements: Changes in retirement benefits for peace officers and firefighters with serious mental health issues will come into effect. The law mandates up to 32 weeks of treatment before officers or firefighters can apply for retirement benefits, aiming to provide better treatment options and support.
Near-Total Ban on No-Knock Warrants: The public safety bill will see funding increases, and a near-total ban on no-knock warrants will take effect. Exceptions remain for extreme situations, but the law significantly restricts the circumstances in which a judge can issue a no-knock search warrant. It now requires that the area being searched cannot wait until it’s unoccupied and that the occupants pose an immediate threat of injury or death to officers if their presence is announced before entering.
These new laws cover a range of important issues in Minnesota, from healthcare and drug affordability to education and public safety.