Some new laws passed by the Legislature take effect today in Minnesota. Here are some of the highlights, according to the Fargo Forum:
Child care CPR required
The death of a 4-year-old girl who choked on a grape at a child care center in June 2010 inspired the so-called “Hannah’s Law.” It requires all teachers and assistant teachers at child care centers to successfully complete CPR training, including CPR techniques for infants and children. The training must occur within 90 days after starting the job.
Hail storms, tornadoes and other natural disasters have kept Minnesota home-repair contractors busy the past few years, and a new law aims to keep fly-by-night contractors in check. Siding contractors and roofing contractors have been added to the list of those banned from offering to pay a person’s insurance deductible or to otherwise compensate the insured party as an incentive to gain a contract.
Placards have a place
The state is changing where disability (handicapped) parking placards must be displayed in a vehicle and also cracking down on people who use them far beyond their expiration date. Currently, a placard must be hung from the vehicle’s rearview mirror. If there is no mirror, or the cardholder’s disability prevents them from placing it on the mirror, the placard must be displayed on the driver-side dashboard. Under the new law, the placard may be placed anywhere on the dashboard.
Church dinners exempt
Churches no longer need their potluck dinners inspected, thanks to the efforts of a couple of self-professed “church ladies” from Goodhue County. The new law exempts meals served by faith-based organizations from certain Health Department food regulations, including inspections.
New track for teachers
Starting this school year, alternative licensure programs for teachers may be created by school districts or charter schools working in partnership with a college or university with a Board of Teaching-approved alternative teacher preparation program.
Pawn shop change
Pawn shops are expected to have an easier time managing their inventory because of a new law that standardizes a 60-day maximum redemption period for a pawn transaction. The new law also repeals a state requirement that pawn shops be located at least 10 miles from any casino.
Offenders must register
A worker or caregiver at a vulnerable adult care facility who is convicted of engaging in sexual conduct with a vulnerable adult in their care will now have to register as a predatory offender.
More officers protected
It will now be a gross misdemeanor to assault a reserve law enforcement officer, and horse-mounted reserve officers or trail horses will have the same legal protection as horse-mounted peace officers and their horses. The new law also makes it a gross misdemeanor to attack postal carriers and utility employees and contractors while they’re on the job.
More protection for K-9
Injuring a police dog will carry a stiffer penalty and impose mandatory restitution on the offender. The impetus for the law was a German shepherd that was stabbed as Roseville police responded to a break-in last November.