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What is Legal Under Minnesota’s New Progressive Laws?

It was a whirlwind of a legislative session. Minnesota’s historic progressive trifecta championed everything from marijuana legalization to abortion rights and paid time off for Minnesota workers. 

Since January, Governor Tim Walz has signed 75 new bills into law that do everything from investing in our public schools to building new affordable homes and so much more.

July 1st marked the date that many of our new laws went into effect. With so much exciting activity happening in the legislature, it can be hard to keep up. 

In case you missed it, here are a few of the exciting programs Minnesotans now have access to, thanks to our progressive leaders and fearless community organizers:

Free school meals

Every Minnesota k-12 student will receive free breakfast and lunch at school daily. Under this new law, Minnesota will pay the gap between federal funding and the meal cost regardless of a family’s income so that no child has to go hungry at school.

Free college tuition & automatic admission

Under Minnesota’s new higher education budget, students with a household income under $80,000 can attend Minnesota colleges and universities for free! 

The financial aid program is live for students attending classes starting in the fall of 2024.

The law also creates a program for free undergraduate education for Native American students at Minnesota’s public postsecondary schools.

Mental health for first responders

Minnesota’s new health and safety budget makes critical investments in the health and well-being of our first responders. The new law requires up to 32 weeks of mental health treatment for police officers and firefighters with psychological conditions such as PTSD and expands eligibility for state disability benefits.

Adult-use cannabis*

We’re all eagerly awaiting August 1st when recreational cannabis possession is officially legal in Minnesota. But July 1st also marked an important rollout for this historic law. This July, Minnesota leaders are working to establish an Office of Cannabis Management so that in a few weeks, Minnesota’s new marijuana laws can hit the ground running. 

Pregnancy leave + job protection

During the session, progressives championed Paid Family and Medical Leave, securing paid time off for workers in times of family need, but the new law has yet to begin.

While we wait for the rollout of our new paid leave insurance program, Minnesota progressives made sure to expand access to pregnancy leave for every Minnesota worker.

And as of July 1st, workers who take time off for a pregnancy-related need have secured job protection for when they return to work. 

This is only the beginning

Come August 1st, Minnesota will see a whole slate of new laws take effect. 

Seeing what can be achieved under progressive leadership has been inspiring, even with constant roadblocks from Minnesota conservativesSign up to get updates on all things Minnesota politics, new laws taking effect in Minnesota, and learn about opportunities to get involved.

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