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Thursday, July 18, 2013

League of Minnesota Cities’ New Law Summaries

The League of Minnesota Cities’ Intergovernmental Relations (IGR) Department has compiled the 2013 New Law Summaries for the 2013 legislative session. The online summary is a convenient way to see the new laws that were enacted, including some that have already taken effect. Here are just a few that impact public safety…
  • Effective August 1, there are new laws regarding criminal conduct related to the placing of an emergency call (found on page 4 of the Law Summaries document). Included in the law are new penalties and an expansion of the definition of an “emergency call.” There are also changes to domestic abuse statutes that include: Orders for Protections (OFPs), Harassment Restraining Orders (HROs), and Domestic Abuse No Contact Orders (DANCOs).
  • There is an interesting change in the underage and consumption of alcohol statute 340A.503 (found on page 8 of the Law Summaries document). If a person contacts a 911 operator to report that the person or another person is in need of medical assistance for an immediate health or safety concern, the person is not subject to prosecution under this law. The statute lists the other elements of the case that must be met for the immunity to apply.

  • It is now a gross misdemeanor to assault a transit driver.

  • Under 609.2231, it is now a gross misdemeanor to assault a transit operator or to throw bodily fluids on to that operator (found on page 8 of the Law Summaries document).
  • There were six changes to Emergency Medical Services laws, including the requirements for staffing advanced life support units and additional training requirements for the community paramedic program (found on page 19 of the Law Summaries document).
  • The Pension and Retirement section contains changes to the PERA retirement system and changes to the volunteer firefighter retirement programs (found on page 38 of the Law Summaries document).
  • The Public Safety section of the summary has new ATV laws (found on page 46 of the Law Summaries document) as well as the funding of the BCA (page 42), State Fire Marshal’s office (page 42), ARMER radio system (page 43), local 911 public safety answering points (page 42), and the reinstatement of the School Safety Center (page 41).
  • New statutes apply to vehicles using bike lanes.

  • The transportation bill had a fair amount of new legislation regarding vehicles in bicycle lanes (found on page 73 of the Law Summaries document) and a new restriction on school bus drivers (page 74). School bus drivers are now prohibited from cell phone usage while in traffic. It amends a prohibition on using a cell phone for personal reasons when operating a school bus to include times when the vehicle is part of the flow of traffic (such as at a stoplight). This is also effective August 1, 2013.
Toward the end of the summary is an interesting section on the bills that did not become law (found on page 76 of the Law Summaries document). Many experienced Capitol watchers look to this area for an idea of what will be coming up in the next session. I noted the “photo cop” bill (page 80) and laws regarding “mini trucks” (page 82) made the list this year.

The summary also contains a complete list of our IGR staff, their contact information, and their areas of expertise.

You can find more information and the summary on our website at: 


                                                Responder Safety = Public Safety

Up next..."America Burning: A Look Back 40 Years"

In the meantime, stay safe and be careful.


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