New Laws in MN Went into Effect January 1st

It’s the start for the new year and that brings the start of new laws in Minnesota.

One of those new laws increases language access on the ballot.  Every precinct in the state will now provide ballots and other materials in the state’s three most commonly spoken languages, outside of English.

For now, that includes Spanish, Somali, and Hmong, but that can change as the state’s most common languages shift over time.

Monday also marked the start of a new automatic voter registration law.  Under that law, all eligible Minnesotans will be automatically registered to vote.

Meanwhile, workers in Minnesota who make minimum wage will see an increase in their paychecks beginning Monday.  The boost, which the Department of Labor and Industry says is adjusted for inflation, will be $10.85 per hour for large employers and $8.85 for small employers.  It’s worth noting that the statewide wage hike will not interfere with minimum wage requirements in Minneapolis or St. Paul, both of which already implemented their higher hourly wages.

A new statewide earned “sick and safe time” law took effect Monday.  It requires employers to provide paid sick time to most working Minnesotans.

Under the new law, employees will earn one hour of sick and safe time for every 30 hours worked, with a maximum of 48 hours per year, unless the employer agrees to a higher amount.  An employee is anyone who works at least 80 hours in a year for an employer in Minnesota, but does not include independent contractors.  The Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry says temporary and part time employees are also covered under the law.