New state laws take effect today
ST. PAUL - New Minnesota laws as of Wednesday include:
- Unemployment benefits extended: Some jobless Minnesotans will get higher unemployment benefits for the next year.
- Young restrained: Children up to 8 years old or 4-foot-9 must use child restrain systems while riding in motor vehicles.
- Electronic waste change: Incentives are expanded to makers of electronics such as computer monitors and televisions to continue their recycling programs.
- Licensing changes: Continuing education requirements for real estate agents, appraisers, insurance agents and adjusters are changed so make it easier to study via the Internet.
- Energy funds: The University of Minnesota Initiative for Renewable Energy the Environment begins to receive $5 million a year to study environmentally sound ways of producing renewable energy.
- Gambling proceeds: A new system goes into effect of rating how much money charitable gaming institutions actually give to charities, based on the percentage of proceeds donated compared to gross receipts.
- Disabled aid: Blind, deaf and hearing-impaired Minnesotans should find it easier to access online state services, which received new money to update Web sites for the disabled.
- Trucks banned: Trucks longer than 55 feet no longer can use Minnesota 36 near the Stillwater Lift Bridge, a legislative decision designed to allow the aging structure to survive longer.
Don Davis works for Forum Communications Co., which owns the Bemidji Pioneer.