On January 1, 2018, a series of new laws will go into effect across Minnesota. These changes to state law join those that went into effect last summer and were passed during the the historically-productive 2017 legislative session. You can find a comprehensive list of all new laws here.
Here are several of the new laws taking effect in Minnesota on January 1, 2018:
Uniform election dates
A city, town, or school district may only hold a special election on one of the following dates:
- the second Tuesday in February;
- the second Tuesday in April;
- the second Tuesday in May;
- the second Tuesday in August (state primary election); or
- the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November (state general election).
In the event of an emergency or disaster, a special election may be held on a different date. In addition, school districts will only be permitted to consolidate polling places if the district is holding a standalone election. Polling place locations must be already-designated polling places within the school district. Legislation sponsored by Senator Mary Kiffmeyer.
Insurance coverage for eye drop refills
Health plans that cover prescription eye drops will be required to cover refills before the expiration of a 30- or 90-day supply. The new law is effective for health plans offered, sold, issued, or renewed on or after January 1, 2018. Legislation sponsored by Senator Karin Housley.
Training for age-related hearing loss
It is critical elderly and vulnerable Minnesotans are cared for by informed and well-trained staff. A new law will allow home care providers to include training about age-related hearing loss in their orientation. Home care workers will be able to count this training toward their annual requirements. Additionally, all staff performing direct home care services must undergo annual training to address maltreatment reporting, the home care bill of rights, infection control techniques, and more. Legislation sponsored by Senator Karin Housley.
Specialty license plates
License plates honoring fallen officers
A special license plate to honor law enforcement killed in the line of duty will be available to Minnesota drivers for an additional fee. In order to get the speciality plate, a vehicle owner will pay a $10 plate fee and donate $25 to the Minnesota Law Enforcement Memorial Association, with another $5 annual donation in subsequent years. The Department of Public Safety is responsible for designing the plate. Legislation sponsored by Senator David Senjem.
License plates for motorized bicycles and mopeds
Disability license plates will be available for motorized bicycles and mopeds. In addition, owners of motorized bicycles and mopeds can apply for a special “Start Seeing Motorcycles” license plate with an annual donation to the motorcycle safety fund. Finally, retired law enforcement can apply for a speciality plate for their motorized bicycles and mopeds. Legislation sponsored by Senator Scott Newman.
Truck weight permits
A road authority may issue a special annual permit to persons exceeding motor vehicle weight limits in order to haul road construction materials on six- and seven-axle vehicles. Revenue from the special permits will go to a bridge inspection and signing account. Legislation sponsored by Senator Scott Newman.
Courtesy: Minnesota House of Representatives