Turn of the year will see some new laws

By T.W. Budig, ECM Capitol reporter

Laws pertaining to the anatomical gift program, the extension of insurance coverage to electronic devices, and other legislation crafted and passed by lawmakers last session are coming into effect or soon will.

One new law, crafted by Rep. Kurt Daudt, R-Crown, and Sen. Dave Thompson, R-Lakeville, updated consumer insurance statutes to include cell phones and other electronic devices that did not exist when the laws were originally put on the books, according to House Information Services.

Another feature of the law is that it frees up the use of automatic claims adjustment systems by non-licensed insurance adjusters.

Another new law, this one crafted by Sen. Dave Senjem, R-Rochester, and Rep. Sarah Anderson, R-Plymouth, effects state anatomical gift policy.

People applying for driver’s licenses and state identification cards are already asked if they wish to become an organ donor.

Now they will also be asked, under the new law, whether they’re willing to contribute $2 to a donor awareness campaign.

Those registering or transferring motor vehicle titles will be asked the same question.

One new law emerged as a response to a sad accident.

So-called “Tyler’s Law” will see information on the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning being provided to drivers through drivers’ education and manuals. The law is a response to the death of Tyler Lavers, a sophomore at the University of Minnesota, who died of carbon monoxide poisoning while installing a sound system in a car in a garage with an open garage door.

“Tyler’s Law” goes into effect May 25.

In other political happenings, 2nd District Congressman John Kline, R-Lakeville, was one of only a dozen members of the 435-member strong U.S. House of Representatives who did not miss a single vote in 2011.

The congressman cast all of the 948 recorded votes last year, according to his office.

Kline previously hit the perfect voting record mark in 2004, 2005, and 2006.

In other happenings, new Republican Senate Majority Leader David Senjem announced his leadership team today (Jan. 3).

Senjem appointed Sen. Julianne Ortman, R-Chanhassen, as Deputy Majority Leader, and Sen. Bill Ingebrigtsen, R-Alexandria, as an Assistant Majority Leader.

“Senators Ortman and Ingebrigtsen are both experienced and vital members of our Senate Republican team, and have my utmost confidence going into this short but important session,” said Senjem in a statement.

Ortman chairs the Senate Tax Committee. Ingebrigtsen chairs the Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee.