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July 1 Means New Laws Go Into Effect

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(credit: Adek Berry/AFP/Getty Images)

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — It’s the first day of July, and that means new laws are taking effect in Minnesota. Several of them make changes to funding for state programs.

Education funding gets a boost and will now include paying for all-day Kindergarten and a tuition freeze for state schools.

There is also a new fourth-tier income tax rate. Expanded gun background checks will begin, and health care coverage will be allowed for the therapy that children with autism receive.

A change that some people will notice immediately: the higher cigarette tax. It will go up by another $1.60 per pack. The additional revenue will help pay for a new Vikings stadium. It’s expected to raise $26 million this year and $20 million every year after.

We have those laws taking effect, and also a big change in schools. Students will no longer take the GRAD tests, which have earned a reputation as being a high-stakes state graduation exam. They’re replacing it with a new set of tests in reading, writing and math, but students will not have to reach a minimum score.

And once students reach their junior year, they will take a nationally recognized college entrance exam such as the ACT.

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