NEW LAWS: Teen alcohol reporting, murder victim property - Fox 2 News Headlines

NEW LAWS: Teen alcohol reporting, murder victim property

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  • 9 new Minnesota laws that go live Aug. 1

    9 new Minnesota laws that go live Aug. 1

    Wednesday, July 31 2013 9:41 AM EDT2013-07-31 13:41:03 GMT
    Several new laws go live in Minnesota on Aug. 1, including same-sex marriage, harsher prostitution penalties, day care unionization and sick leave laws.
    Several new laws go live in Minnesota on Aug. 1, including same-sex marriage, harsher prostitution penalties, day care unionization and sick leave laws.
ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) -

A number of new laws took effect on Aug. 1, including one that will help small breweries continue to grow, another that will protect teens who have been drinking in certain situations, and another to protect the property of murder victims.


Underage drinking is nothing new, and it's definitely a problem authorities hope to curb -- but now, intoxicated teenagers will be protected if they do the right thing by calling for help if a peer is in danger.

"I think it's going to save some lives," predicted Minnesota Sen. Barb Goodwin, the law's sponsor.

According to Goodwin, minors will be protected from getting a ticket for underage drinking when they call 911 to help someone who is having a medical emergency at a party.

"What happens now is: Kids are at a party and they are afraid to help someone out or call police or an ambulance," she said. "Kids can get very ill or die from alcohol poisoning."


Another new law will help families of murder victims get their loved one's belongings after the crime.

In March, FOX 9 News reported that Jim Nibbe's family spent more than two years struggling to retrieve some of his prized possessions after his wife, Jennifer, confessed to killing him.


"Jim's watch we never got back. His class ring, we never got back," Leslie Johnson, Nibbe's sister, told FOX 9 News.

Now, "Jim's Law" allows family members to file a list of belongings affected by the state's slayer statute, which prevents a killer from inheriting their victim's property. Under the new law, loved ones would be able to collect the belongings after the verdict.

"It also gives us some validation that what we went through was wrong -- so wrong that the law is being changed," Johnson said.


Beer drinkers will be raising a glass to the new law that will keep microbreweries like Fulton from grumbling about growlers.

"The impact is a big deal for us," Ryan Petz said.

The so-called "Growler Law" allows breweries that make up to 20,000 barrels a year to sell the 64-oz. containers of beer instead of cutting those breweries off once they hit 3,500 barrels.

"When you are at that 3,000- to 4,000-barrel level, you are a small brewery that's growing, hoping to be a bigger brewery," Petz explained. "So, to lose that revenue stream at that time would be really, really damaging. It really helps us keep that going and keeps us growing."


The past legislative session was certainly a busy one for local lawmakers. Other major changes to Minnesota statutes that took effect on Aug. 1:

- Workers are allowed to use sick days to care for loved ones beyond immediate family
- Landlords will be fined $500 for failing to tell tenants about property foreclosures
- Prank 911 callers will face stiffer penalties

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