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Several new laws effective Friday, Aug. 1

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The following is a listing of selected new laws passed during the 2014 legislative session that take effect Aug. 1, 2014.

Summaries of all laws passed by the 2014 Legislature are available online from nonpartisan House Public Information Services at www.house.leg.state. mn.us/hinfo/Newlaws2014-0.asp

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Minimum wage increased for the first time in 10 years

The state’s minimum hourly wage begins its climb to $9.50 by 2016. Under the new law, sponsored by Rep. Ryan Winkler (DFL-Golden Valley) and Sen. Jeff Hayden (DFL-Mpls), the state’s minimum hourly wage will increase to $8 from $6.15, phasing up to $9.50 by 2016.

Details of the law include:

* For businesses with gross annual sales of at least $500,000, $8 minimum hourly wage beginning August 2014, $9 in August 2015 and $9.50 one year later;

* For businesses under $500,000 in gross annual sales, $6.50 minimum hourly wage beginning August 2014, $7.25 in August 2015 and $7.75 one year later;

* The $7.75 minimum wage rate would also apply for large businesses in the following circumstances: 90-day training wage for 18 and 19 year olds, all 16 and 17 year olds and employees working under a J1 visa; beginning in 2018, all wages would increase each year on Jan. 1 by inflation measured by the implicit price deflator capped at 2.5 percent; and the indexed increase could be suspended for one year by the commissioner of the Department of Labor and Industry if leading economic indicators indicate the possibility of a substantial downturn in the economy. The suspension could only be implemented after a public hearing and public comment period. In better economic times, the suspended inflationary increase or a lesser amount could be added back into the minimum wage rate in a subsequent year.

The law also includes a provision to allow state employees to use up to 80 hours of vacation donation from a sick leave account after the death of a spouse or dependent child.

‘Threading’ exempt from cosmetology licensure

Sponsored by Rep. Linda Slocum (DFL-Richfield) and Sen. James Metzen (DFL-South St. Paul), a new law will exempt threading from cosmetology licensure, classifying it as an unregulated service.

Threading is described as “a method of removing hair from the eyebrows, upper lip, or other bodyparts by using cotton thread to pull hair from follicles.” While threading does not require the use of chemicals or waxes, it may include the use of over-the-counter astringents, gels and powders; and possibly tweezers and scissors.

Notaries can charge more for services

Maximum fees for notary public services will increase from $1 to $5. Rep. Linda Runbeck (R-Circle Pines) and Sen. Roger Chamberlain (R-Lino Lakes) sponsored the law.

Some of the services notaries provide are for legal documents, oaths, deed acknowledgments and protest of unpaid bills.

Gender-specific language removed in real estate transactions

Changes relating to spousal ownership are part of a new law that deals with real estate. The law removes the terms such as “husband” and “wife” and replaces them with “spouses married to each other” to alleviate deed and mortgage problems under current law.

In addition to clarifying some definitions, the law, sponsored by Rep. Melissa Hortman (DFL-Brooklyn Park) and Sen. Scott Newman (R-Hutchinson), clarifies that a non-titled spouse who joins in the execution of a transfer on death deed – essentially used by a property owner to avoid probate – is not a grantor owner, does not have the right to later revoke the deed and has no claim to the property upon the death of the grantor owner.

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