On August 1st, several new laws passed during the 2009 legislative session went into effect. I want to provide you with some of the highlights.
– Cell phone customers will no longer be held liable for charges resulting from unauthorized use of their cell phone as long as the wireless provider has been notified that the phone is lost or stolen
– Protections for borrowers from “payday” lenders were added, including tightening lending rules and creating penalties for lenders who violate them
– Commercial retailers are prohibited from selling a toy designed primarily for children under the age of 12 that has been recalled for safety reasons
Public Safety and Crime
– As part of an overall effort to stop sex trafficking, several changes in law were made to make criminal penalties more severe.
– Law enforcement agencies that issue crime alerts will be required to put them in a format that a disabled person can access with “text-based screen reader software.”
– Mental health crisis teams will be added to the list of emergency 911 responders. Currently there isn’t one number to call when someone is having a mental health crisis. Mobile crisis teams can assess a situation and provide cost-effective ways to stabilize the individual, including referral to mental health centers, clinics, or crisis homes.
– Schools that offer CPR and external defibrillator training will now be required to use certain instructions that are in accordance with the American Heart Association, American Red Cross or other nationally recognized evidence-based guidelines.
– To the extent possible, bookstores at public colleges and universities must offer clothing for sale that was manufactured in the United States
Game and Fish
– Several changes were made regarding state parks. Visitors will now be able to request multiple vehicle permits beyond the two previously allowed and vehicles carrying students on school-sanctioned
trips will not be charged entry fees
– Several changes were made regarding hunting and fishing licenses. Residents discharged from active federal military service during the preceding two years may obtain a free license to hunt deer.
Spearing of fish is added to the list of available lifetime licenses and a non-resident license may be issued to spear fish from a dark house
Several more changes related to fishing and hunting went into effect on July 1st. For more information on those laws, visit this link from the DNR – here.
– In order to reduce the cost of government, a new law will allow state agencies to hold some meeting electronically instead of in person – provided the public has access to the meetings and is allowed to participate.
Fallen Firefighters Memorial Day
– The first Sunday in every October is designated Fallen Firefighters Memorial Day to remember all Minnesota firefighters who have lost their lives in the line of duty.
– Drivers will be allowed to exceed the speed limit by 10 mph when passing another vehicle going in the same direction on a two-lane highway with a speed limit of at least 55 mph.
For more information on many more new laws passed during the 2009 legislative session, visit