Welcome to August 1, kiddies. Do you know what that means? Well, it means a whole slew of new and changed laws are enacted today, the memorable Minnesota Meltdown notwithstanding. But, what does it mean for you?
- Instead of piling friends into your car after a long, sweaty night at Drink, you may want to reconsider that last one for the road. Or, better yet, start considering a taxi. The legal driving limit for alcohol is now .08 percent, down from .10 percent.
- Of course, the notorious "health-impact fee" goes into effect today (otherwise known as the cigarette tax). An additional $.75 per pack will be charged at the distributor level. It's too early to tell how this will affect prices at the retail level. And that's only if there's anyplace left to smoke.
- Good news for our cash-strapped PePpers out there; the state minimum wage has been raised one full dollar to $6.15 per hour. It's the first time the minimum wage has been raised since 1997. Weird how this was finally done when the DFL took control of the Senate, and made huge gains in the House. Also weird how no serious economist thinks it will affect businesses negatively. Just a couple thoughts for the day...
- A number of new driving laws have been changed, in addition to the DUI level. Gas-and-go, or pumping without paying, as well as driving more than 100 miles per hour will result in some time spent without a license.
- Women seeking an abortion 20 or more weeks into pregnancy will now be told whether anasthetic will ease the fetus' pain and will be offered such treatment, as a result of the Unborn Child Pain Prevention Act.
- Sex offender sentencing, flying U.S. or state flags outside condos and townhouses, no more traffic citation quotas, and more!
So there you have it, folks. It's a brave new world, and I'm just rushing to meet it.