New laws take effect July 1Free Access

A host of new state laws take effect July 1.

The majority were passed during the 2022 legislative session.

Below is a brief look at some of the news laws set to take effect:

More funds for drought

relief, ag and broadband

Sponsored by Rep. Mike Sundin, DFL-Esko, and Sen. Torrey Westrom, R-Elbow Lake, the combined total in a new law containing appropriations and policy changes for agriculture, drought relief and broadband is $50.9 million from the general fund in the 2022-23 biennium and $32.5 million in the next biennium.

Credit counseling

services list required

The Minnesota Department of Commerce will be required to create and maintain a list of nonprofit credit counseling organizations and require debt collection agencies include the list in their first written communication to a debtor.

The list must be provided in English, Spanish, Somali, Hmong, Vietnamese and Chinese.

Rep. Jordan Rasmusson, R-Fergus Falls, and Sen. Karin Housley, R-Stillwater, sponsored the law.

Fraud bureau beefed up

In part, a new law expands jurisdiction of the Minnesota Department of Commerce Fraud Bureau and offers additional funding for enforcement staff.

The bureau’s jurisdiction no longer is limited to insurance fraud; its primary jurisdiction is offenses with a “nexus to insurance related or financial crimes.” For example, the bureau can investigate financial crimes such as wage theft.

The legislation includes a supplemental budget appropriation of $870,000 from the general fund in fiscal year 2023 for five additional peace officers in the fraud bureau.

The bill was sponsored by Rep. Zack Stephenson, DFL-Coon Rapids, and Rep. Gary Dahms, R-Redwood Falls.

Max income limit for

board members raised

A new law increases the maximum amount a school board member employed by that district may earn from that employment.

The law raises the maximum earnings limit from $8,000 to $20,000 per fiscal year.

Rep. Michael Howard, DFL-Richfield, and Sen. Zach Duckworth, R-Lakeville, were sponsors.

2021 omnibus provisions

Parts of the 2021 omnibus education law take effect July 1.

Sponsored by Rep. Jim Davnie, DFL-Minneapolis, and Sen. Roger Chamberlain, R-Lino Lakes, the changes include that a publicly funded preschool or kindergarten program cannot have a child use an individual-use screen without engagement from a teacher or other students and that all pre-K-12 education grants awarded after July 1 must be awarded through a framework that encourages the goals of the grants to be aligned to Minnesota’s World’s Best Workforce and the federal government’s student accountability systems

Trust fund spending

The $70.88 million fiscal year 2023 appropriations from the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund covers more than 100 projects.

The fund was established in 1988 via constitutional amendment to “provide a long-term, consistent and stable source of funding for activities that protect, conserve, preserve and enhance Minnesota’s ‘air, water, land, fish, wildlife, and other natural resources’ for the benefit of current citizens and future generations.” Money is generated by the state lottery.

Westrom and Rep. Rick Hansen, DFL-South St. Paul, sponsored the law that mostly takes effect July 1.

New office created

An Office of the Foster Youth Ombudsperson and Board of the Foster Youth Ombudsperson will be created thanks to a new law that takes effect July 1.

Per the law, “The foster youth ombudsperson is accountable to the governor and may investigate decisions, acts and other matters related to the health, safety and welfare of youth in foster care to promote the highest attainable standards of competence, efficiency and justice for youth who are in the care of the state.”

Housley and Rep. Jessica Hanson, DFL-Burnsville, sponsored the law.

New law addresses

disability waivers

A new law reorganizes statutes regarding the disability waiver rate system, which sets reimbursement rates for home- and community-based disability services under Medicaid.

It also aims to make the statutes easier to read and amend, by, for example, rendering terms more consistent and making the basic format of the rate calculations consistent and it requires the Minnesota Department of Human Services to recommend an update to the competitive workforce factor every two years. It cannot change by more than 2 percent.

The law was sponsored by Rep. Jennifer Schultz, DFL-Duluth, and Sen. Jim Abeler, R-Anoka.

HHS policy law modifies

programs, projects, regs

A new law makes changes to policies governing the health and human services departments.

The wide-ranging law sponsored by Schultz and Abeler makes changes affecting child welfare and protection, health-related licensing boards, behavioral health policies, continuing care for older adults, services for people with disabilities, programs to protect children and vulnerable adults, preventing homelessness, economic assistance and licensing and operations policies at the Minnesota Department of Human Services.

ALS research and

caregiver support funded

A bipartisan effort to provide hope and help for people living with a debilitating neurological disorder has resulted in a combined $25 million to fund amyotrophic lateral sclerosis research and caregiver support programs.

Sen. David Tomassoni, I-Chisholm, who sponsored the law with Rep. Dave Lislegard, DFL-Aurora, was diagnosed last year with ALS.

The law appropriates $20 million in fiscal year 2023 to promote research related to prevention, treatment, causes and an eventual cure. It also appropriates $5 million in fiscal year 2023 to the Minnesota Board on Aging, to support families caring for people living with ALS and to provide home medical respite care.

The one-time appropriation for both purposes is available through June 30, 2026.

Employees get reclassified

A new law transitions employees of the Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines Commission from unclassified to classified service, without loss of seniority.

Classified employees are hired through a competitive examination process and can be dismissed only for just cause. Discipline decisions, up to and including discharge, must follow the procedures under an applicable collective bargaining agreement, plan or as provided in the state rules on workplace grievances.

The commission’s research director will remain in the unclassified service.

Rep. Dave Pinto, DFL-St. Paul, and Sen. Warren Limmer, R-Maple Grove, sponsored the law.

Wagers on horse races will

help them later in life

A new law will allow breeders fund dollars to also be used to support the adoption, retirement and repurposing of racehorses.

The fund gets its money, in part, from fees, taxes and set asides on racetrack and card club activity, including a tax on the live racing handle at Canterbury Park and Running Aces, and a fee on wagers by Minnesota residents with an advance deposit wagering provider.

Managed by the Minnesota Racing Commission, funds are used to cover costs associated with regulating horse racing and pari-mutuel wagering in the state.

Rep. Ami Wazlawik, DFL-White Bear Township, and Sen. Zach Duckworth, R-Lakeville, sponsored the law that has zero cost to the state.

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