August 1 Marks Wave of New Laws Going into Effect

ST. PAUL, Minn. – Minimum wage workers will get a pay raise starting August, 1 this summer. The minimum wage hike and a slew of other high-profile laws go into effect beginning in August.

Minimum Wage:
The minimum wage increase law passed during the 2014 Legislative Session calls for a stepped up increase of the minimum wage over several years. Starting August 1, 2015 the minimum wage will be increased as follows:
• Large employers: $9.00 per hour (previously $8.00)
• Small employers: $7.25 per hour (previously $6.50)
• Employers must pay a training wage of $7.25 per hour (previously $6.50)

Right to Try Act
As of August 1, terminally ill patients will have access to treatments that have only successfully completed phase one of the FDA clinical trial process. The patient must consult with his or her physician, consider all other FDA-approved treatment options, obtain a prescription or recommendation from the physician, and give informed consent for the use of the treatment before the patient can have access.

Automated License Plate Reader:
The use of license plate readers by law enforcement agencies will be regulated and the data generated will be protected. Data from license plate readers will be classified as private data and must be destroyed within 60 days. Law enforcement can only access data on a person if they are a part of an active criminal investigation.

Blue Alert:
The Blue Alert system, modeled off the successful AMBER Alert system, will be created. The Blue Alert system will serve to notify the public in the event that a peace officer has been seriously injured or killed and the suspect is at-large. An electronic notification will go out using the current AMBER Alert infrastructure.

Sex Trafficking:
Money is appropriated to local law enforcement agencies to support and train law enforcement investigations in sex trafficking. The bill also provides important legal protections for victims of sex trafficking that also go into effect. Finally, a new five-year felony is created for anyone who hires or agrees to hire an individual they reasonably believe is under the age of 18 to engage in prostitution.

Firearms policy changes:
• The use of suppressors will be legalized. Suppressors are regulated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; several steps will be required by gun owners before suppressors can be obtained.
• Violent felons who are firearms ineligible will also be prohibited from possessing ammunition.
• “Straw purchases” of firearms will be prohibited. A straw purchase is where a person who can legally purchase a firearm obtains a weapon with the purpose of transferring the weapon to another person who is firearms ineligible.
Military Spouses and Families Day:
This session the Military Spouses and Families Day was created, to be observed on the Sunday immediately preceding Memorial Day. The designation also requires the governor to issue a proclamation honoring the observance.

“We passed a lot of important legislation this year that will make a difference in people’s lives. From giving terminally ill patients more hope, to creating a new public safety alert system, protecting young victims of sex trafficking, helping out thousands of families by increasing the minimum wage and a myriad of other laws, Minnesotans will be safer and will have more money to care for their families thanks to the work of the legislature,” said Sen. John Hoffman (DFL-Champlin).

For questions Sen. Hoffman can be reached at Sen.John.Hoffman@senate.mn or by calling his office at (651) 296-4154.

Senator John Hoffman
John Hoffman represents District 36, which includes portions of Anoka and Hennepin County.

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