MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Eighteen new Minnesota laws go into effect on Wednesday.

The laws will help small businesses, energy companies, the environment, health and human services, public housing, public safety and transportation, and military members.

One law will help privately-owned gas stations recover money from pump drive-offs. Government officials said they will see the process streamlined for collecting money.

“Drive-offs that are intentional or unintentional or unpaid fuel we see one every two days,” said Madalena Ferreira, the manager of Bobby and Steve’s Auto World on Minneapolis’ Washington Avenue. “Some drivers get distracted; they forget to swipe their card.”

Ferreira said they’re usually able to recover 90 percent of the money owed, but the other 10 percent is a loss.

Another law gives a stiffer penalty for intentional neglect of vulnerable adults or children.

“If a person intentionally neglects a vulnerable adult causing amputation or maggot infested sores, or laying in their feces for three or four weeks…it’s going to be a felony,” said Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman.

Another law will make the penalty for selling synthetic drugs a felony. It will also expand the list of illicit synthetic substances.

“Synthetic drugs have become almost as dangerous as regular drugs like cocaine and heroin,” Freeman said.

For members of the honor guard, a new law will increase their stipends from $35 for a performance to $50.

A complete list of the new laws can be found here.


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