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Policy bills take effect in Minnesota

MOORHEAD - Teachers at child care centers will have to learn CPR, homeowners will have more protection from fly-by-night contractors and church dinners will be exempt from food inspections when new Minnesota laws take effect Monday.

MOORHEAD - Teachers at child care centers will have to learn CPR, homeowners will have more protection from fly-by-night contractors and church dinners will be exempt from food inspections when new Minnesota laws take effect Monday.

Policy bills approved by the state Legislature take effect Monday, while finance bills took effect July 1.

Some of the new laws are described in the roundup below, lifted heavily from a list compiled by the nonpartisan House Public Information Services.

A full listing is available online at www.house.mn . Click on "2011 New Laws" under the "News and Information" heading.

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.

At least one trained staff person must be present during field trips and when transporting children.

Prior to the law, child care centers needed at least one trained staffer in the facility when children were present.

Contractors restricted

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.

The new law, which modifies a 2010 law relating to contracts for residential home repair, also broadens the language as to which types of incentives contractors are forbidden from offering. It gives the state labor and industry commissioner authority to enforce the law.


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.

The new law limits to 90 days the length of time a permit holder can use an expired placard. Currently, the law allows an original permit holder to get any ticket dismissed if they're cited for using an expired placard. Violators of the new 90-day rule will have to surrender their placard if they are ticketed.

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.

Pat Irrthum and Kathy Theel of St. Paul's Catholic Church in Zumbrota pushed for the reforms after Goodhue County ended its food inspection service for nonprofits last year to save money. The Health Department took over for the county, telling church parishioners they were violating a state law that required permits for nonprofit events where homemade food is served.


The new law exempts certain organizations with tax-exempt status from food regulation statutes, as well as groups affiliated with or related to a sportsman organization. Events must be held in the organization's building or on its grounds.

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.

Candidates who have completed another state's alternative teacher program may apply for a standard Minnesota license.

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.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Mike Nowatzki at (701) 241-5528

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