Created: August 01, 2020 07:15 PM
(ABC 6 News) -- The first of August marks the start of a new month and new Minnesota laws that take effect today.
These new laws range from police reform, farmer support, new minimum age for marriage, and tobacco sales.
Area lawmakers say bipartisan support was crucial to get these laws passed, "I think a lot of these things are programs and policies that are going to be benefitting people in the state for years to come,” Representative Nels Pierson ( R ), Rochester said.
The 12-page document outlines numerous statewide laws that government officials say are much needed to protect the health, interests,and needs of Minnesotans.
One of those new laws is how you have to be 21 years old to buy tobacco products, including e-cigarettes.
Senator Carla Nelson, ( R) Rochester, sponsored the law and said current events like COVID-19 and the vaping epidemic helped get the law passed, "I felt very compelled that Tobacco 21 was the best move forward to keep kids from that lifelong addiction,” Sen. Nelson said.
Sen. Nelson also sponsored the Vaping Awareness and Prevention act, which mandates schools to teach students about vaping starting this fall, "It requires that the anti-vaping, vaping prevention,and vaping awareness be part of our health curriculum in our schools. It's about educating and making sure that kids know that these candy-flavored vaping products are highly addictive,” Sen. Nelson said.
The omnibus agriculture policy law will initiate a five-year study on how state officials can support new farmers which include women, veterans, people with disabilities and people of color.
Representative Jeanne Poppe (DFL) Austin, sponsored this law with Senator Bill Weber of Luverne, "We want people to know that agriculture is a very broad spectrum of things that you can do in that field but if you want to go into farming that is definitely many positive aspects of that,” Rep. Poppe said.
This law also allows for the creation of a Seed Program Advisory Committee whose main job is to look at invasive species.
Rep. Poppe says this law is going to be helpful with the recent case of suspicious seeds from China mailed to some farmers recently, "Even just creating greater awareness about seeds and where they come from, it's a good thing that we're going to be addressing that issue,” Rep. Poppe said.
What these government leaders touched on are only a fraction of the new laws.
For a list of all the laws taking effect today, click on this link: https://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/hinfo/leginfo/0820nlrelease.pdf?v=072320
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