New Minnesota laws target marital rape, wage theft, opiates

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Starting July 1, Minnesotans who rape their spouses finally can be charged with sexual assault. Wage theft becomes a crime. And drug manufacturers will help shoulder the costs of the opioid epidemic.

Those are some new Minnesota laws taking effect July 1 along with the state’s new $48 billion budget.

Minnesota will have what sponsors say is the country’s toughest wage theft law. It comes down hard on employers who cheat workers by making it a felony punishable by up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. An estimated 39,000 Minnesotans annually are victims of wage theft in some form.

Drug manufacturers and distributors will now have to pay much higher registration fees, which will raise around $21 million annually to help fight the opioid epidemic in Minnesota.
 

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