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      From Infrastructure to Education, New Laws Going Into Effect in Minnesota

      Posted on July 01, 2014 at 1:33 PM

      Governor Dayton Signing the Women's Economic Security Act

      Governor Dayton signs the Women's Economic Security Act, one of several laws now taking effect. 

      Governor Dayton is committed to improving state government – from investing in education and improving the state's infrastructure to taking steps to ensure high-quality health care. Through the work done in the 2014 legislative session, many great strides were made in keeping this promise. Here are ten of the laws and reforms signed by the Governor that are going into effect today:


      Women’s Economic Security Act – Key measures in the Women’s Economic Security Act take effect - giving mothers more time off to care for their newborn children, enhancing other workplace protections for women, and training women for higher-wage jobs.

      More Funding for Minnesota Schools – $54 million in new education funding will provide more resources for schools statewide, enhance English Language Learning programs, and provide early learning scholarships for 1,000 more preschool students.

      Healthy Meals for All Students – New funding will be provided for free school lunches to help ensure all children have access to healthy meals in school; and all Minnesota Kindergartners will benefit from free school breakfasts.

      Bigger Budget Reserve – $150 million will be transferred to the State Budget Reserve – increasing the Reserve for the first time in 13 years and bringing it to its highest level in state history ($811 million).

      Wage Increase for Home Care Workers – Health care professionals who provide in-home care for seniors and Minnesotans with disabilities receive a 5 percent wage increase.

      Nursing Home Funding – Hospitals and nursing homes across Minnesota will receive an increase in state funding.

      Improving Access to Broadband – $20 million will be invested in expanding access to high-speed broadband internet in underserved areas of Minnesota.

      Enhancing Railway Safety – New railway safety measures take effect, providing more inspections and public safety training to help prevent dangerous accidents during the transport of crude oil and other hazardous materials in Minnesota communities.

      Improving Highway Safety in Work Zones – Stricter penalties will crack down on speeders in road construction zones.

      Protecting Puppies and Kittens – New protections against the maltreatment of kittens and puppies take effect, making commercial breeders of cats and dogs subject to new licensing requirements and inspections by the Board of Animal Health.