Turning the calendar page to 2020 brings some changes in Minnesota. Many people will see a small increase in pay to account for inflation. Health care professionals will face some new requirements with their license renewal. A ban also goes into effect on the sale of tusks or teeth of certain animals.

A slight increase to cover inflation will effect about 200,000 people who work for minimum wage. Large employers will pay $10 per hour, a bump from $9.86. Small employers will need to pay at least $8.15, up from $8.04.

Health care providers who need to renew their license will have to take two hours of training regarding the prescribing of controlled substances including opioids. That will include nurses and doctors, dentists and others. The Pioneer Press states, "Opioid-related deaths increased by 681 percent between 2000 and 2017, according to the Minnesota Department of Health."

With the start of the new year, Minnesota has banned the sale or purchase of tusks or teeth from elephants, whales, hippos, walrus, and other animals. Anyone who violates the law will forfeit the item, which may then be given to scientific or educational organizations.

While there is no change in 2020, yet, regarding the sale of wine and regular-strength beer in grocery stores or conveniences locations, that could change. The Pioneer Press reports that a bill that was introduced last February could come up again now that some brewers have indicated they will stop producing 3.2 beer, which has been sold in Minnesota grocery stores.

While it is not new with the start of 2020, the Minnesota State Patrol continues to remind drivers that the hands-free law is in effect and is being enforced.

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