New laws: Gas drive-offs, baby abandonment, elderly abuse

Eighteen new Minnesota laws go into effect on Wednesday. Among them, laws that: expand the list of illegal synthetic drugs; create stiffer penalties for neglecting vulnerable adults; and offer additional options for overwhelmed parents who intend to abandon their babies.

Eighteen new state laws take effect Wednesday, aimed at helping small businesses, energy companies, the environment, health and human services, public housing, public safety and transportation, and military members, WCCO reports.

Among the laws is one designed to help privately owned gas stations recover money from pump drive-offs, WCCO reports. Government officials said station owners will see the process streamlined for collecting money.

Another new law expands options for distraught parents by giving them safer alternatives for abandoning their babies, the Star Tribune reports.

Also Wednesday, the definition of illegal synthetic drugs was expanded to include a long list of newly banned chemicals, the Duluth News Tribune reports. A Duluth head shop was recently raided and synthetic drugs confiscated.

Yet another new law targets those who neglect vulnerable adults or mistreat children, the Associated Press reports. The law creates felony crimes for intentionally depriving a vulnerable adult and causing physical harm to a child. Both stem from cases of abuse, including elderly people left uncared for and a child chained to a crib.

KSTP recently had a synopsis of the new laws.

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