The following are some of the new laws that take effect Jan. 1. The asterisk following the bill number denotes the language that became law. Summaries of all laws passed by the 2011 Legislature are available online from nonpartisan House Public Information Services.
Business and Commerce
Insurance claims law modernized
A new law brings insurance statute covering portable electronics claims into the 21st century.
The law allows claims processors-supervised, non-licensed insurance adjusters to enter data into an automated claims adjustment system. The computerized system is designed for data collection, calculation and final resolution of portable electronics insurance claims. A licensed adjuster may supervise up to 25 people for that purpose.
The law makes other clarifications about who is eligible to seek a Minnesota portable electronics claims adjuster license, including those with out-of-state licensure and residents of Canada, under certain conditions.
Rep. Kurt Daudt (R-Crown) and Sen. Dave Thompson (R-Lakeville) sponsor the law.
Health and Human Services
Nursing home reimbursement rate formula changes
A new law conforms state statutes to new federal requirements related to case mix classifications and reimbursement rates at nursing homes.
The new rates will be based on an updated minimum dataset or any new version mandated by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services that nursing facilities are required to complete for all residents. The new law also states that the health commissioner shall establish resident classes according to updated resource utilization groups.
The law also makes technical and clarifying changes to body art technician licensing and inspection statutes.
Additionally, the law permits counties and the state to contract with facilities in a bordering state for detoxification services for Minnesota residents. It also allows Minnesota detoxification facilities to contract with bordering states to provide services to residents of the bordering states.
Rep. Joe Schomacker (R-Luverne) and Sen. David Hann (R-Eden Prairie) sponsor the law.
Donation for anatomical gift program
In addition to being asked if they want to be an organ donor, people applying for a driver’s license or state identification card will be asked to contribute $2 to a donor awareness campaign. The same question will be posed when registering and transferring title on a motor vehicle.
The money will be used as grants to federally certified organ procurement organizations and nonprofit organizations that advocate for organ and tissue donation. Funds will also cover all Department of Public Safety expenses to implement the program.
The law is sponsored by Rep. Sarah Anderson (R-Plymouth) and Sen. David Senjem (R-Rochester).
Carbon monoxide awareness testing
A new law taking effect May 25, 2011, required that information about carbon monoxide poisoning be included in the driver’s manual and be part of driver’s education training. Beginning Jan. 1, those seeking a driver’s license will be tested on their knowledge of carbon monoxide dangers.
Sponsored by Rep. Andrea Kieffer (R-Woodbury) and Sen. Chuck Wiger (DFL-Maplewood), the so-called “Tyler’s Law” is the result of a December 2010 tragedy when Tyler Lavers, a sophomore at the University of Minnesota, was accidentally killed when installing stereo speakers in his car.
He backed his car into the garage at the family’s cabin to be closer to the tools and best lighting. With the garage door open, he started the car at some point to test his speakers. Despite a ventilated garage, the very cold air created a higher output of carbon monoxide from his engine, and combined with a confined space, allowed the deadly poison to concentrate where he was and ultimately kill him.