Can you believe it? August is here already meaning that the State Fair and the new school year are just around the corner. Aug. 1 is when a number of new laws passed last session will begin. Here is some information on some that may impact you:
Childcare Unionization Law: Starting Aug. 1, if the union has signatures from 30 percent of licensed childcare providers, they can begin to petition the Bureau of Mediation Services to order an election. On Sunday, the courts dismissed two lawsuits seeking to halt the beginning of the childcare unionization effort, simply deeming that it was still too early to determine whether or not providers could see damages from the implementation of the childcare unionization effort.
Representatives from the groups have indicated that the fight is not over, and may seek to appeal the ruling, or file their lawsuits again at a later time. The fight is far from over. If you have any questions about how the childcare unionization law will impact parents or providers, contact my office.
Hunting License Fees: Fees for some youth hunting and spear fishing licenses will be reduced or eliminated altogether starting August 1st. Sportsmen who use multi-season sport licenses will also see their fees reduced. This was a rare instance where a fee was actually reduced instead of increased, which is good news for sportsmen, hunters, and fishers around Minnesota.
Bike Lane Parking Prohibited: It will be illegal starting Aug. 1 to park in a designated bike lane, unless signs are posted that permit parking.
Tougher Penalties for 911 Abuse: There will soon be increased penalties for making fake 911 calls. The law also expands penalties to include actions that intentionally reduce the availability of emergency services. This is a good reminder to talk with your children about when to call 911 in an emergency.
Beer Growlers: More craft breweries will be able to sell 64-ounce beer growlers thanks to “Save the Growler” legislation. Previously, some mid-size and larger breweries were prohibited from selling growlers due to arbitrary production limits. This is good news for the ever-expanding craft beer industry in Twin Cities and around Minnesota.
These laws come in addition to the over $2 billion dollars of tax and fee increases that began July 1 on things like farm equipment repair, cigarettes, drivers license fees, and more.
In all, these tax increases help to fund the largest spending increase in state history. For 2014-15, the All-Funds budget will increase by more than $6 billion dollars to a historic high of $67 billion. That’s a 10 percent increase over last year. As I’ve said before, I don’t think that these kinds of spending increases are sustainable, and it’s disappointing that so little time last session was spent on finding cost-savings, reforms, and efficiencies. Instead, the result was a massive spending increase that Minnesotans of all income levels will pay for.
If you have questions about any legislation that went into effect Aug. 1, contact my office by calling 651-296-5513 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.