Editorial: Check out the new laws

Published 12:00 am Monday, July 3, 2006

Several state laws went into effect starting July 1, the start of the state’s 2007 fiscal year. We thought you might like a quick rundown of some items of interest:

– Lawmakers appropriated $5 million in FY 2007 and 2008 and $6.33 in 2009 to establish a branch campus of the University of Minnesota in Rochester. The money supports academics in the fields of biomedical technologies, engineering, computer technologies and health.

– $1 million in 2007 and $778,000 in 2008 and 2009 went to create a child pornography investigative unit that assists law enforcement.

– $200,000 in 2007 and $116,000 in 2008 and 2009 to enhance a predatory offender database and to improve public notification of noncompliant sex offenders via the Internet.

– For a township to qualify for aid to cover 100 percent of engineering costs for repairs and maintenance on bridges, its net tax capacity must be $300,000 or less. The previous law set the cap at $200,000.

– Child-care providers that transport children in school buses are exempt from the training requirements on proper installation of car seats or booster seats in a motor vehicle. But if they use a motor vehicle, the training is still required.

– If you are a dairy operator or in the military, you might ask your tax preparer about new tax credits allowed in the omnibus tax law.

– Deeds now have a deed tax of $1.65 for transfers of real property if the transfer is to a builder or contractor, intended to be temporary and done for the sake of financing to build on the property. A transfer from the builder or contractor back to the grantor is also subject to the $1.65 tax.

– State laws regarding the definition of distilled spirits and flavored malt beverages now follow federal regulations.

– Anyone confined for 14 or more days in a row by the state Department of Corrections or a jail it inspects must be screened for tuberculosis.

– Local jails can impose a fee for inmates whether or not a sentence has been imposed by a court.

– The human services commissioner is now required to study the effectiveness of alternative and complementary medicine. He is required to incorporate the methods into Medical Assistance, MinnesotaCare and General Assistance Medicare programs as appropriate.

– Requirements for mental health practitioners will be evaluated by an array of state medical officials, with a report going to the Legislature by Jan. 15, 2007.

– It is now illegal to put an electronic product containing a cathode ray tube &045; TV sets, most computer monitors &045; into the trash. Owners will need to dispose of them at recycling centers or when retailers hold take-backs.

– A $50 fee for marriage dissolution, legal separation, annulment or proceedings to establish child support obligations is now required at filing, rather than at the initial pleading.