By Pat Kessler

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The New Year brings many changes for many people, including new laws. Many new laws go into effect today, but many more will phase in over the course of the year.

Let’s start with your paycheck. Hundreds of thousands of Minnesotans get a raise on Jan. 1. It’s not much, but the minimum wage goes up 14 cents an hour, up to $10 an hour if you work for a large employer.

It will now be illegal to sell certain animal parts in Minnesota, including “a tooth or tusk from any species of elephant, hippopotamus, mammoth, mastodon, walrus, whale, or narwhal,” and also any part of a rhinoceros horn.

A massive new spending bill signed by President Trump has parts that affect the paychecks of thousands of Minnesotans. If you are a federal employee, in January you will get a 3.1% pay hike, the largest in a decade.

In October, you get 12 weeks paid family leave when you have a baby through birth, adoption or foster care.

Minnesota distillers got a reprieve at the end of 2019. President Trump signed into law a one-year extension of the tax cut. The Distilled Spirits Council of the U.S. calls it “a huge relief for Minnesota distillers” but will work in 2020 to make the tax cuts permanent.

Starting Oct. 1, you will need a Real ID driver’s license or another acceptable ID to board a domestic flight or enter any federal facility, like a Social Security office.

Starting Aug. 1, if you suffer from chronic pain, or macular degeneration, you can use medical marijuana to ease your condition.

And in September, the minimum age for buying any tobacco product goes up from 18 to 21 years of age.

Here are some of Pat Kessler’s sources for this Reality Check:

https://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/hinfo/leginfo/0120nlrelease.pdf?v=121019
https://www.revisor.mn.gov/bills/text.php?session=ls91&number=HF4&session_number=1&session_year=2019&version=list&format=pdf
https://www.twincities.com/2019/12/13/minnesota-microdistilleries-brace-for-perfect-storm/amp/

Pat Kessler

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