Alcohol and Gambling

Brewer Taproom Licenses and More (H.F. 1326)

Several changes have been made to Minnesota’s alcohol licensing laws. Brewers who manufacture fewer than 250,000 barrels of malt liquor each year may now receive a “brewer taproom license,” permitting sale of malt liquor for on-site consumption in or adjacent to the brewery. Microdistilleries—defined as distilleries producing no more than 40,000 proof gallons of “premium, distilled spirits” each year—will be licensed under a fee to be established by the Commissioner of Public Safety.

Other amendments broaden licensing laws governing the sale and distribution of wine and beer. The bed and breakfast exception that allows these facilities to serve two complementary glasses of wine per person was expanded to allow a complementary glass of Minnesota-produced beer per person, per day. Cities may now issue liquor licenses to auto racing facilities and municipalities may issue temporary wine festival licenses to winery associations that have existed for more than two years and are made up of more than ten wineries. Farm wineries may receive on-sale licenses to sell their wine at a county fair, while private nonprofit colleges may receive on-site intoxicating liquor licenses. The restriction on intoxicating liquor licenses to state universities was also removed. Finally, legislative committees will consider the issues surrounding providing alcohol licenses to amateur, town league, semiprofessional, and other forms of community baseball. Effective: immediately.

Liquor Licenses Now Available for Summer Collegiate League Baseball (S.F. 551)

Cities may now issue on-sale wine and on-sale liquor licenses to owners of summer collegiate baseball teams, or to those holding a concessions or management contract with the owner for beverage sales at a ballpark or stadium for collegiate baseball. Effective: immediately.

Gambling

Bingo Operators Receive Greater Leeway (S.F. 994)

The minimum percentage of annual gross profits that bingo operators must expend on “lawful purposes” is now lowered to 20%. Expenditures for lawful purposes are distinguished from “allowable” expenses, which are defined as expenditures directly related to lawful gambling. Effective: immediately.

Pawnshops, Gambling and More (S.F. 955)

The laws governing pawnshop transactions are now loosened. Minn. Stat. § 325J.08, cl. 10 has been amended to allow pawnbrokers to return pledged goods to the borrower during the redemption period and to sell or remove such goods after the redemption period. Further, pawnbrokers who purchase goods through means other than a pawn transaction may not sell or remove these goods from the pawnshop or storage space until 31 days after purchasing the goods. This clause, in addition to Minn. Stat. § 325J.08, cl. 7 (also governing pledged goods) now supersedes any conflicting local ordinances. Finally, Minn. Stat. § 325J.10 is repealed, lifting the restriction on pawnshops located within ten driving miles of a gambling casino. Effective: immediately.

BUDGET APPROPRIATIONS

Changes in Payments for Environmental Sustainability Efforts (H.F. 130) (VETOED)

If passed, this bill would have changed the calculation for payments to claimants of the sustainable forest incentive program. The formula under Minn. Stat. § 290C.07, which included consideration of property taxes and average statewide managed forest land market value, would have been replaced by a flat rate consisting of $7.75 per acre for each acre enrolled in the program.

Proposed Reduction in Percentage for Property Tax Refunds (H.F. 130) (VETOED)

This bill proposed a reduction from 19% to 15% of the gross rent for the total amount a person could receive in a refund for property taxes paid.

Reductions Proposed to Tax Reimbursement and Government Agencies (H.F. 130) (VETOED)

This bill called for the Commissioner of Management and Budget to reduce general fund appropriations to executive branch agencies by $100,000,000 for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2011. Many exceptions were listed, including certain educational funds. The bill also called for reductions in appropriations to the Legislative and Constitutional Officers, in addition to proposing that credit reimbursement payment to counties and cities not exceed that received in 2010. Likewise, the amount of aid distributed to each city under this bill would not exceed that received in 2010.

BUSINESS

Cooperatives

No Amending Articles to Renew Expired Cooperative Term (S.F. 1234)

Minn. Stat. § 308A.151, which allowed cooperative corporations to amend their articles to renew the cooperative’s term of existence, is now repealed. Effective: Aug. 1, 2011.

Corporations

Judicial Dissolution of Corporation at Expiration of Term in Articles (S.F. 1234)

Shareholders can now request judicial dissolution or liquidation of their corporation once the term of the company has expired. A court may dissolve a corporation or order other equitable relief at the request of a shareholder if the corporation’s period of duration in its Articles of Incorporation has expired. Previously, the shareholder could seek judicial intervention when the period in the Articles expired and the term was not extended. Effective: Aug. 1, 2011.

No Extensions of Expired Corporations if Duration Provided in Articles (S.F. 1234)

Minn. Stat. § 302A.801, .805, which allowed corporations via director or shareholder vote to extend the corporation’s duration after the corporation’s term had expired under its articles, is now repealed. Effective: Aug. 1, 2011.

Nonprofit Corporations

No Extensions of Expired Nonprofit Corporations if Duration Provided in Articles (S.F. 1234)

Minn. Stat. §§ 317A.801 and 317.805, which allowed nonprofit corporations via director or member vote to extend the nonprofit corporation’s duration after the corporation’s term had expired under its articles, is now repealed. Effective: Aug. 1, 2011.

Partnerships

Earlier Termination of Foreign Limited Partnerships (S.F. 1234)

A foreign limited partnership that fails to renew its certificate of authority, and whose agent has been resigned for a period of 30 days without the appointment of a new agent, can no longer operate in Minnesota, and its certificate must be revoked. Previously, Minn. Stat. § 321.0906 granted the foreign limited partnership 60 days to appoint a new agent to avoid revocation of its certificate. Effective: Aug. 1, 2011.

Foreign Limited Liability Partnerships can Pick an Alternate Name (S.F. 1234)

A foreign limited liability partnership conducting business in Minnesota can use a name  different from the name used in its home state or jurisdiction if it files a resolution of the partners adopting the new name with the Secretary of State, regardless of whether the name is available. Effective: Aug. 1, 2011.

LLPs Must Update Statement of Qualification for New Service of Process Agent (S.F. 1234)

A limited liability partnership or foreign limited liability partnership’s statement of qualification will now be revoked if the Secretary of State determines that the required agent for service of process had resigned and the LLP failed to update the statement of qualification with the new agent after the Secretary provided a 30-day notice to the LLP. Effective: Aug. 1, 2011.

Trusts

No Certificate from State Recognizing Declaration of Trust (S.F. 1234)

The Secretary of State is no longer required to send a certificate acknowledging that a person or party created a trust. Rather, upon filing a copy of the declaration of trust to form a trust, the association is authorized to transact business in this state subject to other applicable laws. Effective: Aug. 1, 2011.

Once a Trust, Always a Trust: Trusts Cannot Transform into a Nonprofit Corporation (S.F. 1234)

A Minnesota Chapter 318 trust can no longer elect to become a Chapter 317 nonprofit corporation by simply complying with the requirements governing nonprofit corporations. A trust could formerly elect to become a nonprofit corporation by complying with the requirements of Chapter 317 (governing nonprofit corporations). Effective: Aug. 1, 2011.

Trusts Are Not Business Entities (S.F. 1234)

Trusts are no longer recognized as “business entities” in Minnesota. This means that trusts are no longer business trusts, and are not separate legal entities. Note: business trusts are also known as common law trusts or Massachusetts trusts for doing business. Effective: Aug. 1, 2011.  

CRIME

Harm to Reserve Officers, Postal Service Carriers, and Utility Workers (S.F. 301)

An individual who assaults a Reserve Officer (individuals hired for supplementary crowd control), or a Postal Service or utility employee, may be guilty of a gross misdemeanor. S.F. 301 amends Minn. Stat. § 609.2231, punishing individuals who should reasonably know that the person harmed was a Reserve Officer or employee acting in his or her official capacity. Effective: Aug. 1, 2011.

Killing or Harming Public Safety Dog (H.F. 141)

It is now a felony offense for any person to intentionally and without justification cause great or substantial bodily harm to a public safety dog. This modifies Minn. Stat. § 609.596, under which the offense was a felony only if causing the death of the dog. Additionally, causing “demonstrable harm” will now be a gross misdemeanor, and it is now a misdemeanor for anyone to intentionally assault a public safety dog. Anyone committing an offense under this bill is also required to pay restitution. Effective: Aug. 1, 2011.

Predatory Offender Registration Expanded (H.F. 447)

A person charged with being a caregiver, health care facility staff person, or person providing services in a health care facility who engages in sexual contact with a resident, patient, or client of the facility and is convicted of that offense or of another offense arising out of the same circumstances is required to register as a predatory offender. Effective: Aug. 1, 2011.

Protective Orders for Victims of Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, or Stalking (H.F. 1023)

Victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking are now afforded additional protection. A program participant under Minn. Stat. § 5B.03 who is involved in a legal proceeding, either as a party in the case or as a witness, may seek a protective court order to prevent disclosure of any information that could reasonably lead to that individual's location. Effective: Aug. 1, 2011.

Sex Offenders: Community Notification (S.F. 1287)

Four years after a person is discharged, provisionally or otherwise, from a sexual treatment facility, he or she may request that the head of that facility limit the scope of the community notification and disclosure of his or her assigned risk level as determined by the commissioner’s risk assessment scale. Effective: immediately.

Sex Offenders: Return Transfers to Secure Facilities (S.F. 1287)

A sexually dangerous person who transferred out of, or was provisionally discharged from, a secure facility with the consent of the executive director of the Minnesota sex offender program may voluntarily return to the facility for up to 60 days. Previously, the person could not voluntarily return to the secure facility. The executive director can, in some circumstances, require a sexually dangerous person to return to a secure facility. Finally, the Department of Human Services and law enforcement agencies have new authority to apprehend and return persons deemed to be sexually dangerous who, without authorization, are absent from a treatment facility. Effective: immediately.

Synthetic Marijuana and Water Pipes (H.F. 57)

The weight of fluid used in a water pipe may not be considered in determining what constitutes a “small amount” of marijuana unless the marijuana is mixed with four or more ounces of fluid. Synthetic drugs, defined as “analogs” that have substantially similar chemical structures to a controlled substance and produce a stimulant, depressant, or hallucinogenic effect on the central nervous system, are now included under Schedule I controlled substances. The sale of synthetic cannabinoid is now a gross misdemeanor, while possession is a misdemeanor. The provision concerning water pipes is effective immediately. All other provisions effective: July 1, 2011.

Theft as Basis for Racketeering Charge (S.F. 680)

In an amendment to Minn. Stat. § 609.902, subd. 4, criminal activity for the purposes of racketeering now includes intentionally taking another’s property without the rightful owner’s consent and with intent to permanently deprive the owner of possession. Effective: Aug. 1, 2011.  

Juvenile Offenders

Identification Data of Juvenile Domestic Abusers (S.F. 882)

Juvenile detention facilities must now take finger prints and other identification data for persons arrested, appearing in court, or convicted for violation of a domestic abuse no contact order. Effective: Aug. 1, 2011.

Juvenile Offenders (H.F. 229)

A juvenile certified as an adult pursuant to Minn. Stat. § 260B.125 may now be detained in a secure juvenile detention facility pending the outcome of the juvenile’s criminal proceeding. Juveniles found delinquent due to a violation of criminal sexual conduct in the first, second, third, or fourth degree, felony criminal sexual conduct in the fifth degree, or criminal sexual predatory conduct may be prohibited from residing within 1,000 feet or three city blocks from his or her victim. Effective: Aug. 1, 2011.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Important Changes to U.C.C. Article 9 on Secured Transactions (S.F. 194)

            Certificate of Title: The term “certificate of title,” in regard to establishing priority over the rights of a lien creditor, now includes records maintained as an alternative to a certificate of title by the governmental unit that issues certificates of title if a statute permits the security interest in question to be indicated on the record as a condition or result of the security interest’s obtaining priority over the rights of a lien creditor with respect to the collateral.

            Change in Debtor’s Location/Perfection of Security Interest: If a financing statement is filed before a change in a debtor’s location, it can perfect a security interest in the collateral if the financing statement could have perfected a security interest in the collateral had the debtor not changed his location.

            Change in law due to location of a new debtor: If a financing statement naming an original debtor is filed in one jurisdiction, and there is a new debtor who is located in a separate jurisdiction, the statement is effective to perfect a security interest in collateral acquired by the new debtor before, and within four months after, the new debtor becomes bound, as long as the statement would have been effective had the collateral been acquired by the original debtor. Additionally, a security interest perfected by the financing statement which becomes perfected under the law of the new debtor’s jurisdiction before the earlier of the time which statement would become ineffective under the law of that jurisdiction or the expiration of the four month period remains perfected. However, if such a security interest is not perfected before the earlier of the expiration of the statement under the new jurisdiction or the four month period, it will be deemed never to have been perfected as against a purchaser of the collateral for value.

The above three provisions of this bill take effect on July 1, 2013, and the requirements will apply to security interests perfected before the act takes effect. However, for those security interests that were perfected prior to this act’s taking effect, such a security interest will remain perfected only if the applicable requirements of the new act are fulfilled before July 1, 2014.

Property Tax Mitigation for Farmland (H.F. 12)

To preserve farmland, the legislature decided to mitigate the property tax impact of increasing land values due to nonagricultural economic forces. Thus, all property properly enrolled under Minn. Stat. § 273.11 (which covers, among other properties, real estate consisting of 10 acres or more that is primarily devoted to agricultural use) is entitled to valuation and tax deferment. Effective: taxes payable in 2012 and thereafter.

EMPLOYMENT LAW

Air Carrier Employees: Overtime Work Without Overtime Pay (S.F. 488)

If an employee of an air carrier works over 48 hours in a workweek, he or she will not be entitled to overtime pay if the excess hours are not required by the carrier, but are arranged through a voluntary agreement between employees to trade scheduled hours. Effective: immediately.

Changes in Availability of Extended Unemployment Benefits (H.F. 103)

If the cost of extended unemployment benefits is 100% federally funded, the requirement of “any of the prior three calendar years” will be used to determine if there will be a “state ‘on’ indicator.” The “state ‘on’ indicator” is used to determine whether there will be an extended unemployment benefits period, and is itself determined through the rate percentage of insured unemployment, and the length of time that such a percentage continued. This language supplements, but does not replace the language in Minn. Stat. § 268.115 regarding when a “state ‘on’ indicator” will take effect, which states “either of the prior two calendar years.” Effective: retroactively from Dec. 19, 2010; expires when federal law no longer allows a three-year look-back period.

Drug and Alcohol Testing of Professional Athletes (S.F. 1265)

Drug and alcohol testing programs operated by professional sports teams are now given greater allowance to operate independently of the Minnesota statutes that govern workplace drug and alcohol testing. Under new subd. 3 of § 181.955, Minn. Stat. §§ 181.950–54 are to be construed so as not to interfere with a testing program utilized by employers of professional athletes, so long as the testing program is authorized under a contract between the employer and employee. Effective: immediately.

ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES

Department of Agriculture May Delegate Authority to Regulate Pesticides (S.F. 1115)

Traditionally, the Department of Agriculture governs the application of pesticides. Minnesota law now clarifies that the Department can, by written agreement, delegate pesticide authority to other approved agencies. Effective: Aug. 1, 2011.

Elimination of Several Environmental Oversight Committees (S.F. 1115)

The state is required to appoint committees regarding the management and use of game and fish funds. However, the state is no longer required to create a committee on big game, ecological resources, trout and salmons, migratory waterfowl, pheasant, wild turkey, and walleye. Rather, the state need only appoint a Fisheries Oversight Committee, Wildlife Oversight Committee, and Budgetary Oversight Committee. Effective: Aug. 1, 2011.

Exchanging Scientific and Natural Areas with the Department of Agriculture (S.F. 1115)

In addition to acquiring land for scientific or natural areas through gifts, leases, and purchases, the Department of Agriculture may now also make exchanges for such land. Effective: Aug. 1, 2011.

New Regulations for Processing Environmental and Resource Management Permits (H.F. 1)

This bill encourages efficiency in administration of permits by the Commissioner of Natural Resources, requiring the commissioner to notify the applicant within 30 days of submission of his or her application as to whether it is complete enough for review, for the denial or approval of such applications to occur within 150 days of submission, and requiring the Commissioner to submit efficiency reports twice a year detailing this process and whether the requirements were met. Other parts of the bill provide procedural guidance to persons who are required by law to obtain such permits due to violating rules regarding pollutant discharge in Minnesota waters. Effective: immediately.

State Parks Receive More (and Some Less) Land, and Commissioner of Natural Resources Gets Power to Sell Surplus State Land (H.F. 55)

The following state park and forest lands were expanded: Forestville Mystery Cave, Judge C.R. Magney, Split Rock Lighthouse, Tettegouche, and Lyons. The following park lands were reduced: Afton, Crow Wing, Frontenac, Hayes Lake, McCarthy Beach, Maplewood, Split Rock Lighthouse. Effective: immediately.

The Commissioner of Natural Resources has been authorized to sell surplus and tax forfeited land in Anoka, Carlton, Goodhue, Hennepin, Pine, Washington, Roseau, St. Louis, Mahnomen, Martin, and Cass Counties for private sale, and is allowed to sell surplus and tax-forfeited land in Beltrami, Roseau, Itasca, Carlton, and St. Louis counties for public sale. Effective: immediately.

State Responses to Natural Disasters (S.F. 1044)

Several amendments affect the way in which money is to be allocated in the wake of a natural disaster. The Board of Water and Soil Resources may now use appropriations to address critical conservation problems resulting from a natural disaster, but only if the remedial efforts are funded in whole or in part with state sources. Further, combined federal and state funding may not exceed 100%.

The Department of Employment and Economic Development Commissioner may now only provide grants to local units of government to be used for locally administered grants or loan programs if those funds are used to address physical damage to buildings and personal property. Such funds may not replace assistance otherwise available through insurance, other organizations or government agencies.

The Commissioner of Natural Resources may now use appropriations to provide cost share for renovating or removing publicly owned dams. Any unspent general funds transferred to the Commissioner pursuant to Laws 2010, Second Special Session chapter 1, are available to be disbursed as grants to cities located within a FEMA disaster area designated for public assistance. The funds may be used to pay outstanding water and sewer infrastructure municipal bond debt.

The Commissioner of Public Safety may use appropriations to provide technical assistance to local jurisdictions or to make grants to counties, regional consortia, and nonprofit organizations working in the disaster area to provide assistance in coordinating long-term recovery activities related to the disaster.

The Transportation Commission may now provide grants to mitigate against damage to roads and bridges in the event of a future natural disaster if the mitigation efforts are part of a project to address damage from a past natural disaster.

Finally, flood hazard mitigation grants may no longer be used to buy out substantially damaged structures.

The final provisionis effective retroactively from Oct. 19, 2010. All other provisions are effective immediately.

Conservation

Adopt-a-Wildlife Management Area Program (S.F. 712)

The newly created Adopt-a-Wildlife Management Area program encourages sporting and outdoor business, and improves and maintains wildlife management areas. The commissioner will make informal agreements with businesses, civic groups, and individuals to volunteer their services to achieve the Adopt-A-WMA program’s purposes. Effective: Aug. 2, 2011.  

Exceptions to Ban on Carbon Dioxide Emissions by Coal Burning Plants (S.F. 86) (VETOED)

Minnesota prohibits power plants from increased long-term emissions under Minn. Stat. § 216H.03, subd. 3. Now exempt from this prohibition are large energy facilities constructed after April 1, 2007 that have an electric generating capacity of 1,500 megawatts and are fueled by feedstock coal.

Next Generation Energy: Defining Biobutanol (S.F. 1115)

The Department of Agriculture has always sought to develop new energy sources to displace fossil fuels, including through the use of ethanol, hydrogen, and biobutanol. Biobutanol is now defined in Minn. Stat. § 41A.105 as fermentation isobutyl alcohol derived from certain agricultural products, forest products, or other renewable resources. Effective: Aug. 1, 2011.

Lakes and Rivers

Decal for Aquatic Invasive Species Rules (S.F. 1115)

Watercrafts must display an aquatic invasive species rules decal before entering or operating in any state water. Failure to display the sticker is a petty misdemeanor. Effective: Aug. 1, 2011.  

Harvested Aquatic Life Must Remain at Holding Facility for Examination (S.F. 1115)

To combat the transport of invasive species, aquatic life from Minnesota waters harvested for transportation and stocking must remain for at least ten hours at a holding facility for examination for the presence of invasive species. Effective: immediately, applying to violations now and in the future.  

Introducing Nonnative Species to Minnesota Waters (S.F. 1115)

Although the introduction of nonnative species is a growing concern for Minnesotan waters, certain activities are not considered an introduction of a nonnative specie, including the immediate return of nonnative species to their original waters and the seasonal return of nonnative species attached to water equipment. Effective: immediately, applying to violations now and in the future.  

Invasive Species Attached to Water-Related Equipment (S.F. 1115)

A conservation officer can now prohibit placing water-related equipment into waters when the officer finds prohibited invasive species or macrophytes attached to the equipment. Inspectors and officers have broad authority to inspect transported water-related equipment stopped at water access sites and at check stations. Effective: immediately, applying to violations now and in the future.

Only Decontaminated Fishing Boats May Participate in Fishing Contests (S.F. 1115)

The state may prohibit boats from participating in fishing contests on infested waters unless they are decontaminated first. Effective: Aug. 1, 2011.

Security Interests in Watercraft with Certificates of Title (S.F. 1115)

Several changes were made to the laws governing watercraft with security interests. First, to acquire a certificate of title, all secured parties, if any, must be mailed a notification of their security interest filed. If an owner of a watercraft has a security interest in a titled watercraft, the second or subordinate secured party does not affect any rights of the first secured party. Finally, all secured parties must be notified if a security interest has been recorded. Effective: Aug. 1, 2011.

Recreation

Fees for All-Terrain Training Programs (S.F. 1115)

The fee to attend all-terrain training programs administered by the state is no longer $15 per person. Instead, the state will adjust the fee based on costs to administer the training programs. Effective: Aug. 1, 2011.

Nonresident Off-Road Vehicle Use on Minnesota Trails (S.F. 1115)

Nonresidents must now purchase a nonresident off-road vehicle state trail pass sticker to use Minnesota trails. Effective: Aug. 1, 2011.

Riding Off-Highway Motorcycles on Public Roads (S.F. 1115)

Off-highway motorcycles can now also be registered as motorcycles for use on public roads and highways under Minnesota Chapter 168. However, the off-highway motorcycle must be in full compliance with all state and federal safety regulations, including being equipped or outfitted with standard safety equipment such as lights and a horn. Note: off-highway motorcycles explicitly do not include golf carts (or mopeds, go-carts, dune buggies, etc.). Effective: Jan. 1, 2012.

Two Seasons for Off-Road Recreational Use (S.F. 1115)

The state previously designated seasons for off-road vehicle use on state forest lands. Now, off-road vehicle use seasons in Minnesota correspond to deer hunting season. As in the past, off-road vehicle use is not permitted during deer hunting season (except during certain times). However, the state may no longer set additional seasons during which off-road vehicle use is not permitted. Effective: Aug. 1, 2011.

ESTATE PLANNING

Interpretation of Corrective Deeds and Certain Wills, Trusts and Similar Instruments (S.F. 137)

Broader types of evidence may now be used to interpret certain documents and instruments. Minn. Stat. § 272.15 was amended to allow those presenting a corrective deed to provide “other evidence deemed satisfactory by the county attorney” in lieu of an abstract of title.

Under existing Minn. Stat. § 524.2-712, if a will, trust or other instrument of a decedent who died in 2010 contained a formula or provision with certain phrases relating to the federal estate tax or federal generation-skipping transfer tax, a personal representative, trustee, or interested person of the decedent may bring a proceeding to determine whether the decedent intended to refer to the 2010 version of these formulas. Under amendments to this section, courts may now consider extrinsic evidence that contradicts the plain meaning of the will, trust or other instrument. Courts may also modify provisions of these instruments to better reflect the decedent’s intent. Effective: immediately.

Constitutional Amendment for Heterosexual Marriages Only (S.F. 1308)

A proposed amendment to the Minnesota Constitution, if adopted by the people, will define a marriage union as between one man and one woman only. The proposed amendment will be submitted at the 2012 general election.

Family & Education

Alternative Teacher Preparation Program and Limited-Term Teacher License (S.F. 40)

To improve academic excellence, the board of teaching must approve qualified teacher preparation programs that are a means to acquire a limited term teacher’s license. Such programs must have a minimum 200-hour instructional phase and a research based and results oriented approach, among other requirements. All candidates applying for such a license must have a bachelor’s degree with a 3.0 or higher GPA, must pass a skills examination, and enroll in an approved alternative teacher preparation program. Effective: immediately.

Bus Transportation Between Buildings at Area Learning Centers (H.F. 1179)

School districts can provide bus transportation for students between buildings at area learning centers, so long as the additional transportation does not increase the district’s expenditures for transportation. Effective: Aug. 1, 2011.

Coaching Opportunity Provided for Teachers Retiring Early (H.F. 1092)

Teachers who agree to withdrawal from active teaching with an early retirement incentive may now be employed as coaches after retirement. This is an addition to the ability to serve as a substitute teacher. Effective: immediately.

Continuing Education Includes Professional Designation Coursework (S.F. 1045)

Course work towards a professional designation, as defined in Minn. Stat. § 60K.36, subd. 4a, now qualifies for “continuing education.” These programs must be open to all, though certain course work may be required as a prerequisite to enter a professional degree program and course acceptance may be limited if the program is offered by an insurance company (“company sponsored”). Effective: Aug. 1, 2011.

Dept. of Education Required to Maintain Bus Safety Training Materials (H.F. 1179)

The commissioner of the Department of Education is now required to maintain, in addition to developing, bus safety training and instructional materials for students. The commissioner is not required to develop or maintain bus safety training programs. Effective: July 1, 2011.

New Teacher Preparation Program Implemented for Teacher Candidates (S.F. 40)

The Board of Teaching must now include a performance based assessment that measures teacher candidates in the areas of (1) planning for instruction, (2) engaging students and supporting learning, and (3) assessing student learning in implementing teacher preparation programs as required by Minn. Stat. § 122A.09, subd. 4(d). Effective: immediately, for individuals who complete a teacher preparation program by the end of the 2013–2014 school year or later.

Power Lifts for Disabled Students Riding to Curricular Field Trips (H.F. 1179)

School districts are required to provide certain transportation accommodations for disabled students. For clarification, districts must now also provide power lifts on school buses that are taking a disabled student who needs a power lift to or from a curricular field trip activity. Effective: fiscal year 2012 and later.

Requirements for Verifying Self-Study Courses (S.F. 1045)

A self-study course can only be approved if it includes a closed-book, end-of-course exam and the successful completion of the exam and course can be objectively verifiable. Effective: Aug. 1, 2011.  

GOVERNMENT

Miscellaneous Government Procedures (S.F. 885)

Several government procedures were amended.

The Environmental Education Advisory Board was replaced with a mandate to the Commissioner of the Pollution Control Agency to provide for the development and implementation of environmental education programs.

All revenue collected from motor vehicle transfer fees is now to be credited to the environmental fund. Previously, fees were first applied to debt service payments on revenue bonds issued under Minn. Stat. § 116.156, with any extra going to the environmental fund.

If property seized pursuant to Minn. Stat. § 609.5314 is valued at $15,000 or less, a claimant may now file an action in conciliation court for recovery of the property. The previous value limit was $7,500.

Community-based comprehensive plans are no longer required to follow review and comment procedures under an amendment to Minn. Stat. § 394.232.

Finally, the amendments to Minn. Stat. § 273.114 made in 2010 H.F. 3729, affecting land conservation assessment plans, are now effective immediately for deferred taxes payable in 2012 and thereafter.

Effective: immediately.

Standard Changed for Variance Applications to Include Solar Energy Systems (H.F. 52)

Applicants for variances must now establish that there are “practical difficulties” in complying with land use ordinances. This language changed the prior standard of “hardship” under Minn. Stat. § 394.27, and now provides that inadequate access to direct sunlight for solar energy systems may constitute practical difficulties. Effective: immediately.

Election Law

Voter photo identification (S.F. 509) (VETOED)

A bill requiring voters to present photo identification with a current address, and calling for the creation of voter identification cards, was vetoed by the Governor on May 26, 2011. In his veto letter, Governor Dayton declared “Minnesota’s election system . . . the best in the nation,” noting Minnesota’s high turnout and recent state election recounts that Governor Dayton believes demonstrate the reliability of election results. Governor Dayton further noted that he would not sign an election bill that did not have “broad bipartisan legislative support.”

Municipalities

Municipalities’ Immunity Expanded to Include Donated Public Safety Equipment (H.F. 695)

In an amendment to Minn. Stat. § 466.03, municipalities now have immunity from tort liability resulting from use of public safety equipment donated by that municipality to another municipality. Such public safety equipment includes vehicles and equipment used in firefighter, ambulance and emergency medical treatment services, rescue and hazardous material responses. Effective: Aug. 1, 2011.

Municipalities Limitedly Liable for Claims Arising from Use of School Property (H.F. 1343)

School districts now have greater protection against civil lawsuits. Under added subd. 23 of Minn. Stat. § 466.03, municipalities now have immunity from civil claims arising from the public’s use of school property or facilities. Immunity does not extend if the school district has engaged in conduct that would entitle a trespasser to damages against a private person. Effective: immediately.

Public Safety Equipment Purchases; Takings Law Expanded? (H.F. 1139)

Local governments may now purchase public safety equipment without competition if the equipment is limited to a single source of supply. Effective: immediately.

Term Limits Established for Red Wing Port Authority Appointees (H.F. 613)

Minn. Stat. § 469.081 was amended by adding subd. 3a, which establishes that the length of a term for an appointee to the Red Wing Port Authority is now three years. Effective: immediately, and applies retroactively to terms that began on or after Jan. 1, 2011.

State Agencies

Geospatial Information Office (S.F. 1270)

Changes have been made to Minnesota’s Geospatial Information Office. The advisory council must now represent tribal governments, in addition to other state, county, municipal and private sector stakeholders. In addition, Minn. Stat. § 16B.99, subd. 9, governing the Geospatial Information Office’s reports to the legislature, was repealed. Effective: immediately.

Incentives Given for State Agencies to Save, Save, Save! (H.F. 299)

50% of any government appropriation to a state agency that is not spent due to innovations or efficiencies in cost-saving may now be retained by those participating agencies to fund specific proposals or projects. Effective: June 30, 2013.

HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES

Abortion Bills (H.F. 201; H.F. 936) (VETOED)

H.F 201 would have prohibited funds provided to state-sponsored health programs from being used for abortions, except to the extent necessary for the health programs to continue their participation in federal programs.

H.F. 936 would have criminalized abortions 20 weeks after fertilization, while also establishing a legal defense fund to defend the bill.

Availability of Nursing Homes and Facilities in “Hardship” Areas (S.F. 626)

A new bill gives the Commissioner of Health the power to certify and license new nursing home beds in hardship areas, which is defined according to a number of factors, including the number of beds, the level of out-migration for nursing facility services, and the level of available noninstitutional long-term care services. The bill also provides the Commissioner with the ability to consolidate nursing facilities if certain facilities exceed the threshold cost limits. Effective: immediately.

Certification Available to be “Community Paramedic” (S.F. 119)

Those who are certified as emergency medical technician paramedics (EMT-P) can now also be certified as community paramedics (EMT-CP). This bill was enacted to address hospital admittance and emergency room utilization reductions, as well as provide quality care in rural communities. The requirements for certification can be found under Minn. Stat. § 144E.28, subd. 9. Effective: July 1, 2011.

Leo’s Law: Mitochondrial Disease Awareness Week (S.F. 361)

Leo’s Law, named in honor of a one-year old baby who died from mitochondrial disease, recognizes the third full week in September as Mitochondrial Disease Awareness Week. Minnesotans are encouraged to learn more about mitochondria, the power plants in every cell of the body, which can be injured by genetic defects, drugs, or destructive molecules (“free radicals”). About 4,000 children die each year from mitochondrial disease in the U.S., though the disease can also strike older individuals. Effective: Aug. 1, 2011.

New CPR Training Requirements for Child Care Center Staff: “Hannah’s Law” (H.F. 235)

CPR training, including training on techniques for infants and children, must be completed by teachers and assistant teachers in child care centers governed by Minnesota. Additionally, at least one staff member during field trips and other transportation related outings with the children must be trained. Effective: immediately.

New Requirements for Commissioner of Human Services’ Annual Forecasts (H.F. 1341)

The Commissioner of Human Services must now provide, as part of his annual forecasts, an accounting of health care expenditures for people 22 years old and younger for all services provided in a Minnesota public health care program. Effective: Nov. forecast, 2011.  

Youth Athlete Concussion Programs (S.F. 612)

Following several high-profile concussions in amateur and professional sports, youth sports programs now have strict guidelines governing provision of information about and handling of concussions. The new guidelines require any organization providing youth athletic activities for a fee to inform participants of the risks of concussions and train coaches and officials every three years. The program must remove any athlete who exhibits symptoms of a concussion, even if a concussion is merely suspected. The athlete can return when the symptoms are no longer present and after medical approval. S.F. 612 does not create any additional causes of action against youth sports programs. Effective: Sept. 1, 2011 for municipality, business, and nonprofit organizations.

Food and Beverage Regulations

Food and Beverage Regulation (S.F. 477)

Food and beverages are regulated by the commission in certain establishments (e.g., in restaurants and hospitality venues). Now exempt from these establishments under Minn. Stat. § 157.22 are: weddings and funerals conducted by a faith-based organization in a building for religious worship or education; certain sportsmen events; certain school concession stands; certain faith-based organizations providing food at fundraisers or community events provided that the staff is professionally trained; and food service events for disaster relief. Effective: Aug. 1, 2011.

Personal Responsibility in Food Consumption Act (H.F. 264) (VETOED)

Weight gain from food consumption does not create a cause of action against food producers. A producer, grower, manufacturer, distributor, or seller of food and nonalcoholic beverages intended for human consumption cannot be sued solely because a person who consumed the food or beverage over an extended period of time gained weight or became obese. However, weight gain as a result of adulteration, misbranding, or other illegal production or distribution of food or beverages may still permit a cause of action.

Health Care Providers

Additional Coordination Duties for Provider Entities (S.F. 1285)

Additional requirements are now necessary to qualify as a provider entity. In addition to being able to coordinate with county emergency services, Minn. Stat. § 256B.0624, subd. 4 will now require provider entities to also coordinate with community hospitals, ambulances, transportation and social services, and law enforcement. Effective: Aug. 1, 2011 for provider entities.  

Children’s Mental Health Screening (S.F. 1285)

Before screening a child for mental health conditions, county boards, which are required to provide child mental health services must now obtain written informed consent from the parents or legal guardians of any delinquent children or children who have committed three or more juvenile petty offenses. The county board may bypass the written informed consent requirement with court approval. Effective: Aug. 1, 2011 for county boards.

Dental Provider Contracts (S.F. 302)

The Minnesota Legislature placed several new restrictions on contracts between dental providers and dental organizations. Under the addition of subds. 4–6 of Minn. Stat. § 62Q.78, any change to such a contract must be disclosed to the dentist at least 90 days prior to the date when the change is to become effective. Further, if a dental organization wishes to conduct an audit of one of its dental providers, it must provide a written explanation of why it wishes to perform the audit and the process it intends to employ. The dental organization must also use a licensed dentist to perform this audit and must allow the provider a sufficient period of time to review, meet, and negotiate a resolution to the audit. Finally, dental provider contracts may not set fees for services unless they are services covered by an enrollee’s insurance. Effective: For dental plans and provider agreements entered into or renewed on or after Aug. 1, 2011.  

Health Officers Include Mental Health Mobile Crisis Intervention Professionals (S.F. 1285)

Health officers now include mental health professionals providing mobile crisis intervention services as defined in Minn. Stat. § 256B.0624. Effective: Aug. 1, 2011.

Individual Treatment Plans (S.F. 1285)

Intensive nonresidential rehabilitative mental health services must now create individual treatment plans for each of their clients, which must include the criteria set forth in Minn. Stat. § 256B.0947, subd. 6. Effective: Aug. 1, 2011 for intensive nonresidential rehabilitative mental health services.  

New Requirements for Vendor Eligibility (S.F. 1285)

Additional requirements are necessary to be an eligible vendor licensed by the commissioner. In an amendment to Minn. Stat. § 254B.05, vendors must now: maintain and comply with a provider agreement; participate in the Drug Alcohol Normative Evaluation System; file annual financial statements; report their current capacity; and maintain appropriate insurance coverage. Effective: Aug. 1, 2011 for eligible vendors.

Noncovered Medical-Assistance Services (S.F. 1285)

The following services are no longer eligible for medical assistance under the per-client, per-day payment: inpatient psychiatric hospital or mental health residential treatment; partial hospitalization; room and board costs; children’s mental health day treatment services; and mental health behavioral aide services. Effective: Aug. 1, 2011 for intensive nonresidential rehabilitative mental health services.

Previous Diagnostic Assessments at Acute Care Inpatient and Regional Treatment Centers (S.F. 1285)

Acute care hospital inpatient and regional treatment centers can now use diagnostic assessments completed three years from the date of admission rather than only 180 days, so long as the older diagnostic assessment is updated. The “diagnostic assessment update” now requires a face-to-face interview in addition to the existing requirements of Minn. Stat. § 245.467, subd. 2. Effective: Aug. 1, 2011 for providers of residential, acute care hospital inpatient and regional treatment centers.

Psychotherapy and Intensive Therapeutic Services at Day Treatment Programs (S.F. 1285)

Health care staff of day treatment programs and services for adults are now required to provide psychotherapy and other intensive therapeutic services at least two days a week (as opposed to only one day). S.F. 1285 amends Minn. Stat. § 245.462, subd. 8. Effective: Aug. 1, 2011 for day treatment providers.

Rates for Chemical Dependency Services (S.F. 1285)

The Commissioner of Human Services now establishes rates for chemical dependency vendors, including for outpatient treatment services, medication assisted therapy services, residential and hospital-based treatment services, and adolescent treatment programs. Effective: Aug. 1, 2011 for eligible chemical dependency vendors.

INSURANCE

New Definitions for Surplus Line Insurance (S.F. 1045)

Minnesota has adopted new definitions with respect to surplus line insurance, including the requirements for an “affiliated group,” “exempt commercial purchaser” (of commercial insurance), and “qualified risk manager.” The new Minnesota Chapter 60A will generally replace “licensee” with “broker” (as in “surplus line broker”), and “surplus line” with “nonadmitted” for clarity. Effective: July 20, 2011 for nonadmitted insurance policies effect after such date.  

Requirements for Foreign Insurers to be Eligible Surplus Line Insurers (S.F. 1045)

Foreign insurers previously had limited options to be eligible surplus line insurers under Minn. Stat. § 60A.206, subd. 3. Now, these insurers have several ways to be authorized as eligible surplus line insurers. Effective: July 20, 2011 for nonadmitted insurance policies effect after such date.

Auto Insurance

Auto Insurance Including Rental Vehicle Reimbursement Entitles Insured to Choice of Rental Company (S.F. 508)

Automobile insurers must now provide additional information to claimants. Under an addition to Minn. Stat. § 72A.201, subd. 6, automobile insurers, adjusters, self-insured and self-insurance administrators must inform those claimants with insurance policies providing rental vehicle reimbursement coverage, that the claimant may choose any rental vehicle company. Failure to provide this information now constitutes an unfair settlement practice. Effective: immediately.

Health Insurance

Additional Combinations of Insurance Products Allowed (S.F. 1045)

The amended Minn. Stat. § 60A.06 could usher in new combinations of health insurance products. Certain insurance policies are not allowed to be combined into one policy under Minn. Stat. § 60A.06, except for certain groups (such as by group policies). However, life coverage with one or more of the following coverages can now be combined: specified disease or illness coverage, other limited benefit health coverage, hospital indemnity coverage, and other fixed indemnity products. Effective: Aug. 1, 2011.

Enrollee Requirements in Comprehensive Plans with Preexisting Condition Waivers (S.F. 1045)

A Minnesota resident may enroll in comprehensive plans, with a waiver of preexisting condition limitations, only if the resident was formerly enrolled in a community-based health care coverage program as defined under Minn. Stat. § 62Q.80, and the resident submits a written application for comprehensive coverage. Effective: Aug. 1, 2011.

Type of Medicare Select Policies (S.F. 1045)

Rather than only offering basic or extended basic plans, Medicare select policies and certificates by an issuer must provide a variety of coverages. Pursuant to Minn. Stat. §§ 62A.315–3165, these policies and certificates must now offer the following supplemental insurance options: basic and extended basic Medicare Supplement Plans; Medicare Supplement Plans with 50 and 75 percent coverage; 50 percent Part A deductable coverage; and High Deductable coverage. Effective: Aug. 1, 2011.

Homeowner’s Insurance

Contractors’ Promises to Pay Customer Insurance Deductibles (S.F. 249)

The prohibition on contractors paying for or reimbursing customers for insurance deductibles has been broadened. Under amendments to Minn. Stat. § 325E.66, the statute now applies to repair or replacement of siding, in addition to roofing. Further, any indirect means of compensating an insured for all or part of a deductible is now prohibited. Finally, the commissioner of labor and industry is now authorized to enforce the provisions of this statute. Effective: immediately.

Insurers’ Obligations Regarding Notice of Rights and Disclosure of Privileged Information (H.F. 895)

Though property and casualty insurers covered by Minnesota Chapter 60C must still provide applicants with notice of their rights under the Minnesota Insurance Guaranty Association Law, the time frame and record requirements for providing this notice are eliminated by amendments to Minn. Stat. § 60C.21. The notice must be given to or obtained by the applicant in writing or in the same medium as the application for insurance was made. Authorization for an insurer to collect or disclose personal or privileged information can now be made verbally, but before actually disclosing any such information, an insurer must obtain authorization in writing or in the same medium as the application for insurance was made. Finally, electronic signatures are now expressly permissible and appraisers are no longer required to be Minnesota residents. Effective: immediately.  

Mortgagor Rights and Insurance Reserves (S.F. 1208)

Several changes have been made to the laws governing mortgages, insurance reserves, insurers’ use of separate accounts, and farmers mutual fire insurance companies. Mortgagors are now entitled to receive information regarding the owner of the note secured by their mortgage. Under new Minn. Stat. § 58.162, within ten days of receiving a request for such information, transaction agents and servicers must provide mortgagors with written information providing the identity, address, and telephone number of the current owner of the note secured by the mortgage. Transactions agents and servicers are required to respond to such requests, free of cost, once per calendar year. Alternatively, agents and servicers may elect to abide by section 6(k) of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act.

Under Minn. Stat. § 68A.03, state insurers must maintain certain levels of reserves based on their holdings of direct risk premiums written, in addition to their premiums for reinsurance assumed, combined with other income, and less premiums for reinsurance ceded as set forth in schedule P. Under an amendment to subd. 3 of this statute, the amount of reserves required to be held has been lowered from 8% to 6.5% of the holdings described above.

Several statutes and one rule have also been repealed, including: Minn. Stat. §§ 61A.275 and 61A.276, subd. 4, governing insurers’ use of separate accounts; Minn. Stat. §§ 67A.27–29, 67A.30, subds. 1 and 3, and 67A.31–39, governing farmers mutual fire insurance companies; and Minn. R. 2675.2170, governing the recording of “other real estate” for accounting purposes. Effective: immediately.

Insurance Adjusters

Canadian Insurance Adjusters Application (H.F. 1405)

Canadian insurance adjusters can only mark Minnesota as their home state if they apply with the commissioner on the appropriate National Association of Insurance Commissioners Uniform Individual Application under Minn. Stat. § 72B.041, subd. 1. Canadian insurance adjusters are now also required to pass Minnesota’s adjuster examination. Effective: Jan. 1, 2012 for Canadian adjusters.

Individuals Who Collect Claims Do Not Need an Adjuster License (H.F. 1405)

Adjusters generally require a license to solicit under Minn. Stat. § 72B.03, subd. 1. However, individuals who merely collect claim information from claimants and conduct data entry for a licensed independent adjuster do not need an adjuster license. Effective: Jan. 1, 2012.

Claims Processing and Regulation for Insurance on Portable Electronic Products (H.F. 1405)

Minnesota now authorizes licensed independent adjusters, producers, and supervised individual operators to use automated claims adjudication systems to collect, calculate, and conclude insurance claims. Minn. Stat. § 72B.02 is now amended to define “automated claims adjudication system” as any “preprogrammed computer system designed for the collection, data entry, calculation, and final resolution of a portable electronics insurance claims.” Effective: Jan. 1, 2012.  

Unemployment Insurance

Grandparents Included as Immediate Family Member (S.F. 1130)

Grandparents are now included as immediate family members in the Minnesota Unemployment Insurance Law. Generally, a person that quits his or her job is ineligible for any unemployment benefits under Minn. Stat. § 268.095, subd. 1. However, one exception is if the person quits to provide necessary medical care to an immediate family member of the person, which now encompasses grandparents. Effective: July 1, 2011 for determinations and appeal decisions issued thereafter.

Updated Benefit Account Requirements (S.F. 1130)

The requirements for a benefit account under Minn. Stat. § 268.07, subd. 2 have increased. A benefit account applicant must now have total wage credits in his or her four quarter base period of either at least $2,400 or 5.3% of the state’s average annual wage rounded down to the next lower $100, whichever is higher. Effective: Oct. 28, 2012 for applications for unemployment benefits thereafter.

PUBLIC SAFETY

Swimming Ponds Still Exempt from Most Swimming Pool Regulations (H.F. 763)

The expiration date of June 30, 2011 previously contained in Minn. Stat. § 144.1222, subd. 5 has been removed. The subdivision provides swimming ponds that existed prior to January 1, 2008 with an exemption to the swimming pool regulations under ch. 4717 of the Minnesota Rules. Effective: immediately.  

REAL ESTATE

Access Granted to Unit Owner’s Association Records (H.F. 362)

Unit Owner’s Associations are now required to provide records to individual unit owners upon request. The association may require the unit owner to pay a fee for the copies. Effective: immediately.

Changes to Building Code Requirements for Sunroofs (H.F. 529)

When building with translucent panels or skylights, it is now required that such panels or lights that do not have raised curbs must be supported to have the same amount of load-bearing capacity as the surrounding roof. Effective: immediately.

Extended Temporary Practice Licenses for Real Estate Appraisers (S.F. 1045)

Real estate appraisers always needed a temporary practice license to work in Minnesota. The temporary license period for appraisers has now been extended. The term of a temporary practice license is now the lesser of the time necessary to complete the appraisal assignment or 12 months (an increase from the previous six months). Moreover, the appraiser’s temporary license may be extended more than once. Effective: Aug. 1, 2011.  

New License Available for “Broker Price Opinions” (BPOs) on Residential Real Estate (H.F. 323)

This new law provides availability to a license for “broker price opinions,” which are defined as estimates that detail the probable selling price for a piece of real property. However, BPOs may not be prepared for the purpose of establishing a primary basis to determine the value of property for purposes of loan origination of residential mortgages. Additionally, BPOs will not be recognized as appraisals. This bill modifies Minn. Stat. § 82.55, and proposes coding for new law. Effective: Aug. 1, 2011.

TAXES

Angel Tax Credit: Qualified Small Businesses and Funds; Pay Rates (H.F. 1219)

Several changes were made to Minnesota’s Angel Tax Credit, which encourages investing in startup companies in the state. First, the amount of private equity raised by the company prior to applying for certification as a qualified small business under the Angel Tax Credit must be $4 million or less. Previously, the equity limit was $2 million. Second, a qualified fund must have at least three owners. Of these owners, at least three who invested in the qualified small business and who seek the tax credit must be certified qualified investors. Finally, while the company’s employees must be paid at a rate at least equal to 175% of the federal poverty guidelines for a family of four, interns must only be paid at a rate at least equal to 175% of the federal minimum wage used for federally covered employers. This intern pay rate is lower than the previous pay rate allowed for under the Angel Tax Credit. Effective: Jan. 1, 2011.

County and Community Fairgrounds Exempt from Taxation (H.F. 1219)

Land and buildings used exclusively for county or community fairgrounds are no longer charged property taxes. Effective: 2012 taxes and thereafter.

Reports by Third-Party Payers of Sick Pay Benefits (H.F. 1219)

Third-party payers of sick pay benefits who withhold income tax from the sick payer of an employee must now file a report with the state. The report must contain basic identifying information of the employee and be filed on or before February 28 of the year following the time during which the sick pay benefits were paid. Effective: Dec. 31, 2010 for benefits paid after such date.

S Corporations Required to Pay Estimated Taxes (H.F. 1219)

S corporations are now required to make payments of estimated tax when required by Minn. Stat. § 289A.25, subd. 3(b). Previously, only individuals, trusts, and partnerships needed to make payments of estimated tax. Effective: Dec. 31, 2010 for taxable years thereafter.

VEHICLES

New Definition for Noncommercial Vehicle (H.F. 1105)

Noncommercial vehicles are now defined under Minn. Stat. § 168.002. These vehicles include one-ton pickup trucks with a 15,000 pound or less gross vehicle weight rating and for which the owner has a declaration that the vehicle will only be used for personal use. Effective: Aug. 1, 2011.

Drivers’ Licenses

Driver Instruction on the Dangers of Carbon Monoxide (H.F. 650)

Minn. Stat. § 171.0701 was amended to require driver education programs to provide instruction on carbon monoxide poisoning. Driver’s license tests will now also test on this information. Effective: immediately.

Expiration Date of Active Service Members’ Driver’s Licenses (H.F. 186)

The driver’s license expiration period for certain Minnesota service members was extended. The expiration period for a service member serving outside Minnesota and that service member’s spouse is now one year after the service member’s separation or discharge from active military service. Previously, an expiration period was only extended for 90 days after discharge, and spouses’ expiration dates were only extended if the spouse was residing outside of Minnesota. Effective: July 1, 2011.

Fee Donations to Anatomical Gift Awareness Fund (H.F. 808)

Individuals may now make a $2.00 donation when applying for original, duplicate, or replacement license plates or stickers and Minnesota identification cards, permits, or driver’s licenses. The donations are applied to an anatomical gift account providing funds for public information and education on anatomical gifts, under newly created Minn. Stat. § 171.075. Effective: Jan. 1, 2012.