New Laws Effective July 1, 2020
The following is a list of select new laws passed during the 2020 regular legislative session that take effect July 1, 2020. The asterisk following the bill number denotes the language that became law. Summaries of all laws passed by the 2020 Legislature in regular session are available online from nonpartisan House Public Information Services New laws from the special session should be posted soon.
Funding changes, tractor safety part of new law
Sponsored by Rep. Jeanne Poppe (DFL-Austin) and Sen. Torrey Westrom (R-Elbow Lake), the omnibus supplemental agricultural finance law specifies that $675,000 of the General Fund allocation in fiscal year 2021 to the Agricultural Research, Education, Extension and Technology Transfer program at the University of Minnesota is for Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory testing equipment and supplies necessary to respond to avian influenza, salmonella and other turkey-related diseases.
Also part of the law effective July 1, 2020 is a reduction in General Fund funding for the transfer program by $100,000 (from $9.3 million to $9.2 million) in fiscal year 2021. The law also provides a $100,000 one-time General Fund expenditure in fiscal year 2021 for farm safety grant and outreach programs, with $50,000 for grain storage facility safety equipment grants and $50,000 for outreach, which can include “creating and presenting a grain storage facility safety curriculum.”
Reestablishment of a tractor rollover prevention grant program that expired in 2019 takes effect July 1, 2020. It permits the Agriculture Department to award grants to farmers and schools that retrofit tractors built before 1987 with eligible rollover protective structures.
Prairie Island and rooftop solar receive boosts from Renewable Development Account
Plans for the Prairie Island Indian Community to become a “net zero energy community” will receive a boost thanks to a new law. Effective July 1, 2020, the law provides $25.8 million in fiscal year 2021 from the Renewable Development Account.
Sponsored by Rep. Jean Wagenius (DFL-Mpls) and Sen. David Osmek (R-Mound), the law also extends through 2022 an existing Solar Rewards incentive program, administered by Xcel Energy, for 2 owners of small solar systems, funding it at $10 million per year. Other allocations include $2.75 million for a new turbine to expand Granite Falls’ hydroelectric generating facility, and $2 million in grants for communities that will lose an electric generating facility.
The Renewable Development Account was set up in 1994 when investor-owned utility Xcel Energy was given permission to store nuclear waste at its Prairie Island facility, which is adjacent to land owned by the Prairie Island Indian Community. Xcel makes payments of $500,000 and $350,000 for each storage cask at, respectively, the Prairie Island and Monticello nuclear facilities, and the fund is earmarked for grants for the development of renewable energy sources in Minnesota.
Plans for Prairie Island to become a “net zero energy community” involve allocations of $46.2 million from the Renewable Development Account (sometimes called the Renewable Development Fund) through fiscal year 2023. The community would become one in which the total amount of energy consumed is not greater than the amount of renewable energy created.
The funding allows the Prairie Island Indian Community to execute a plan under which it would reduce energy consumption, generate energy through a combination of solar and geothermal sources, develop micro grids for storage and distribution of energy, and adopt sustainable building standards.
The $25.8 million in appropriations would leave $55.2 million in the account at the end of fiscal year 2021, assuming no new investment income.
HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
Diabetics can access emergency insulin
Beginning July 1, 2020, the urgent-need safety net program within the Alec Smith Insulin Affordability Act will allow diabetics with less than a seven-day supply of insulin readily available, and who need the drug “in order to avoid the likelihood of suffering significant health consequences,” to pay no more than $35 to get a 30-day supply from a pharmacy.
To get insulin, people would need to present a filled-out application created by MNsure and attest to eligibility requirements. A requestor must also have a valid prescription and show proof of Minnesota residency with an identification card, driver’s license or permit.
Upon receipt of the application, a pharmacist is to dispense a 30-day supply of prescribed insulin and notify the practitioner who issued the prescription no later than 72 hours after the insulin is dispensed. Insulin manufacturers will either reimburse pharmacies for the cost of emergency insulin or replace the insulin provided to patients.
Through the continuing safety net program, someone can receive up to a 90-day supply of insulin from manufacturers. Insulin is provided on an ongoing basis for the 12-month eligibility period and eligibility for the program may be renewed. The safety net provision expires Dec. 31, 2024, unless the Legislature determines it should continue.
Manufacturers with annual gross revenue of $2 million or less from insulin sales in Minnesota will be permitted to request a waiver to be exempt. An insulin product is exempt from the law if the wholesale acquisition cost is $8 or less per milliliter, or applicable National Council for Prescription Drug Plan billing unit, for the entire assessment time period, adjusted annually by the consumer price index.
More information can be found at: https://mn.gov/boards/pharmacy/insulinsafetynetprogram.
Rep. Michael Howard (DFL-Richfield) and Sen. Scott Jensen (R-Chaska) are the sponsors.
Drug makers must justify large price increases to the state
Sponsored by Rep. Kelly Morrison (DFL-Deephaven) and Sen. Julie Rosen (R-Vernon Center), and effective July 1, 2020, the so-called “Prescription Drug Price Transparency Act” will require prescription drug makers to report, beginning Oct. 1, 2021, certain drug pricing information for existing drugs, new drugs and newly acquired drugs whose prices increase by specified amounts.
In addition to disclosing the cost of manufacturing, marketing and distributing those drugs, drug makers will report sales revenue, net profits, financial assistance through patient prescription assistance programs and agreements to delay generics.
For each prescription drug whose price was $100 or greater for a 30-day supply, or for a course of treatment lasting less than 30 days, manufacturers must report the specified drug pricing information for: (1) brand name drugs where the price increases by 10 percent or more within the previous 12-month period, or an increase of at least 16 percent over the previous 24-month period; and (2) generic drugs where there is a price increase of at least 50 percent over the previous 12-month period.
The law also establishes manufacturer drug pricing reporting requirements for certain new prescription drugs and certain newly acquired drugs.
Drug makers that fail to follow the law are subject to fines of up to $10,000 per day. Money from these fines must be deposited in the Health Care Access Fund.