Updates from the Governor
After signing the Stay Safe MN plan, Governor Walz also signed 21 bills into law, including measures to support farmers and meat processing plants through COVID-19, and provide over $70 million to support renewable energy projects.
The bill signing included a variety of chapter numbers. Following is an edited version of several of them:
• People 16 and 17 years old can operate amusement park rides and increased safety and training requirements for amusement park owners.
• Expanded the definition of “modular home” from only single family to include two family dwellings.
• Included transportation policy provisions that will streamline the driver’s license renewal process and modify school bus inspection procedures.
• Funding is available for farm safety and mental health; grants for meat processors affected by COVID-19; grants to aid with origination fees associated with debt restructuring for farmers; and financial assistance available to food retailers for the purchase of PPE.
• Dollars appropriated from the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage fund which provides extensions to grants from the Clean Water Fund, Parks and Trails Fund, and Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.
• Modified the Conservation Improvement Program (CIP) statute, adding the promotion of LED lighting to current public utility and cooperative electric conservation improvement activities to encourage the use of efficient lighting.
• Licensure exemption for people who perform only hair styling (washing, drying, arranging, and styling) and makeup services from cosmetology licensing requirements, provided they complete a four-hour safety and sanitation course.
• Modification to current statute that will now allow money transmitters to put a hold on the transmission of funds if there is suspicion of fraud.
• Addressed administrative and structural issues related to firefighter relief associations, allowed contributions to multi-employer retirement plans for certain construction and trade employees and numerous administrative, conformance, and technical changes were made that affect pensions.
• The commissioner of human services will award specific grants using funds in the opiate epidemic response account.
• Modified the utilization review and prior authorization requirements used by health insurance companies to medically manage healthcare benefits.
• Made modifications and clarifications around health and healthcare policy. The bill included provisions aligning state Medicaid law to federal law; clarified existing Medicaid law; clarified requirement for medical records; and outlined requirements for medical cannabis inspections.
• Addressed COVID-19 impacts to the 2019-2020 school year (eliminates truancy, conditional Tier 3 licenses, formula adjustments, fund transfers, modified minimum instructional days for probationary teachers); adopted articles for school budgets; opened up regional library telecommunications aid to be spent on technology and Internet access; made permanent students with limited and interrupted formal education to participate until age 22; and removed a set-aside for extended time revenue under compensatory revenue.