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New Laws In Effect In SD And MN

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With the new bills that were signed into law this past legislative session, plenty of people, including teens, smokers, and teachers will notice some changes this July 1st.


In Minnesota, smoking gets a little pricier. The state cigarette tax will double. Every pack of smokes will come with a $2.83 tax.  


Also in Minnesota, liquor tastings will be made legal at stores and charitable events. Previously, laws only allowed taste tests on just wine.


In South Dakota, a state wide cell phone ban goes into effect but, not for everybody. It is now illegal for teens that are 16 or under to text, call, check their Twitter or do anything with an electric device or cell phone.   


“Not everybody is going to follow that law, we know that. We have people that speed. We have people that drink and drive, even though those are against the law.  So, if we can get the majority of people to do that, especially the young drivers then they're going to pay closer attention the roadway. And hopefully they're going to make it a safer place,” said Officer Sam Clemens of the Sioux Falls Police Department.


The School Sentinel Bill also goes into effect, allowing teachers and school staff to carry a fire arm in schools. This bill gives control to school districts and local law enforcement to decide if they want to arm educators.


The state's probation system will receive an overhaul; the governor said in his State of the State that South Dakota would need an extra prison by the end of the decade if the state does not do something about the rising incarceration rate. This new law will try to treat more nonviolent offenders through probation and parole programs. One of many things it does is try to treat drug users and punish drug dealers.


“Before Senate Bill 70 both of those were class 4 felonies punishable by up to 10 years in the state penitentiary. We've changed that. So now, the offenders who are pushing these poisons and profiting from them face a 15 year penalty. And the addicts now face a five year penalty,” said Minnehaha County State’s Attorney Aaron McGowan.


In Minnesota, August 1st will also be a big day for new laws. Same sex marriage will be officially legalized and stricter penalties will be enforced for calling 9-1-1 under false circumstances.     

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