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New Laws Go Into Effect In SD And MN



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This part of summer is a time for patriotism. It's also the time new state laws go into effect across the nation.
    
Fiscal years begin July 1 on most financial calendars, and a slew of state government spending regulations kick in each year on that date. Policy laws also hit the books in a wave, though states often mark their independence by enacting such legislation on their own time.
    
Among the laws set to take effect this year around the U.S. are new abortion limits, gun laws and technology rules. And one state, Wyoming, will start setting up a lottery Monday, leaving only a handful of states without a jackpot drawing.
    
So as you get ready for Fourth of July cookouts and family gatherings, consider this roundup of South Dakota laws set to go into effect:
    
- GUNS: A new law taking effect July 1 allows South Dakota's school districts to arm teachers, other school staff and volunteers.  Local law enforcement officials would have to approve a school's program, and those taking part would have to undergo training by the same state commission that oversees the training of law enforcement officers. Associations representing school officials say they do not know of any school districts that have taken steps to put armed teachers or volunteers in their schools.
    
- PRISONS: Another new law seeks to cut South Dakota's prison costs by treating more nonviolent offenders through intensive probation, parole and other programs outside prison walls. The new law will use expanded probation and parole, along with other programs that treat drug and alcohol offenders, as part of an effort to divert offenders from prison and prevent them from committing future crimes. Officials said if nothing is done to curb a rapid increase in adult inmates, the state would have to build a new men's prison and a new women's prison in the next decade.
    
- DRIVING: Starting July 1, beginning drivers will be banned from using cellphones behind the wheel. Young drivers cannot use cellphones or other electronic devices until they get unrestricted licenses at age 16.

In Minnesota:
   
- TAXES: A batch of new taxes takes effect July 1. The state cigarette tax more than doubles to $2.83 per pack. The state will require online retailers to collect sales tax on digital purposes, such as music and video downloads. The top 2 percent of wage earners will pay 2 percentage points more on a slice of their income.
   
- ALCOHOL: Fee-based liquor tastings will be considered legal at properly licensed charitable, club or religious organization events as of July 1. Previously, taste-tests had been limited to wine only.

Some Minnesota laws will go into effect in August including:
   
- GAY MARRIAGE: Starting Aug. 1, gay marriage will be legal in Minnesota.
   
- 911 CALLS: Starting Aug. 1, calling 911 with a fake emergency will carry stiffer penalties, up to felony charges if someone is seriously hurt while responding.

More on the changes tonight on KDLT News.

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