Staying Informed: 5 New Minnesota Laws That Took Effect January 1

Minnesota citizens may be interested in some of the new laws that became effective on January 1:


Which Comes First, Car Insurance or Vehicle Registration?

Under the provisions of a new Minnesota law, from now on motorists who want to register a vehicle in the state will first have to prove that they have automobile insurance. This law is intended to reduce the number of uninsured drivers in the state.

Credit Unions Can Use Raffles to Promote Saving

Approximately one dozen Minnesota credit unions a launching a “Wincentive Savings” program, in which people are automatically entered into monthly cash drawings for prizes of up to $5,000 each time they increase their savings balance by $25.

Medical Marijuana List Expanded to Include Intractable Pain

People who suffer from chronic pain who have exhausted every other option of medical treatment – with no success – can now get medical marijuana under the state’s program. This law follows a decision made by the state’s health commissioner last month.

Health Benefits Extended for Families of Volunteer Firefighters

Under this new law, the health benefits for the families of volunteer firefighters who are killed in the line of duty will be extended, providing recognition of the fact that most of the state’s firefighters are not full-time employees.

Nonprofit Hospitals to Face Tighter Rules

Nonprofit hospitals in Minnesota will now have to clarify what their financial assistance programs mean for patients, to stop them from being hit with unexpected billings. The law will allow patients to bring lawsuits against a hospital if it does not provide a “plain-language” summary of its financial assistance policy, and if the patient wins the suit, their legal fees will be paid for them.


Image courtesy of Joe Gratz/flickr.