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10 Oct 2018 1:30 PM | Miller (Administrator)

1.  Governor's Task Force Report:  More New Housing Needed

The Governor’s Task Force on Housing Affordability released its report titled “More Places to Call Home: Investing in Minnesota’s Future” on Aug. 21. Leading the recommendations included in the report is a call to build 300,000 new homes by 2030, create a regulatory review panel and address the industry- wide labor crisis.

2.  MN Dept of Labor and Industries Reduces Contractor License Fees

Due to the health of the state’s Contractor Recovery Fund, effective July 1 the Minnesota Department of Labor & Industry (DLI) eliminated the $80 assessment that licensed residential building contractors pay as part of their two-year license.

The Contractor Recovery Fund compensates homeowners and lessees of residential property, up to $75,000, who have experienced direct out-of-pocket losses because of a Minnesota licensed contractor’s fraudulent, deceptive or dishonest practices.

The fund’s balance has stabilized over recent years as the state’s housing market has recovered and fund payouts have decreased accordingly.

With fewer funds withdrawn, DLI Commissioner Ken Pederson used his authority to eliminate this assessment. This is in addition to the DLI reducing most license fees by 40 percent over the past four years.

3.  MN Dept of Labor and Industries Announces 2019 Minimum Wages 

The Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry announced that the minimum wage rate will increase to $9.86 per hour for large employers and $8.04 for others effective Jan. 1, 2019. The state’s minimum wage is adjusted for inflation each year.

As of Jan. 1, 2019, the rates will be:

$9.86/ hour  for Large Employers  ( $500K or more in annual gross revenues)

$8.04/ hour for Small Employers ( less than $500K in annual gross revenues)

$8.04/ hour for Training Wages (employees younger than 20 years old for the first 90 

consecutive days of employment)

$8.04/ hour Youth Wages (employees younger than 18 years old) 

The City of Minneapolis has higher minimum wage rates, at $11.25 per hour for large businesses (more than 100 employees) and $10.25 for small businesses. The next increase for Minneapolis will be July 1, 2019, when rates increase to $12.25 for large businesses and $11.00 for small businesses.


4. Radon Licensing Rules Challenged

The Minnesota Association of Radon Professionals and Standard Water Control Company, a radon mitigation firm, have filed suit against the Minnesota Department of Health over proposed radon licensing rules, created under the Minnesota Radon Licensing Act of 2015.

The proposed rules would require individuals performing radon-related services to be licensed by the State of Minnesota, through the Department of Health.

The proposed radon licensing rules would also require licensed radon testers to pay a $150 per year fee, licensed mitigation professionals would pay a $250 per year fee, companies analyzing test kit results pay up to $500 per year in fees and a $75 per home fee for mitigation system installation in existing homes. In addition, radon testers and mitigation system installers would submit quarterly reports of all homes where services were performed.

The proposed rules are set to take effect on Jan. 1, 2019. An administrative law hearing was held on July 17. Final comments on the proposed rules were due in August.


5.  The Real ID MN License now available and what you need to know about it...

MN began issuing Real ID compliant state licenses this month, October 2018.

The federal government was set to enforce the 2005 Real ID law in January of 2018. The 2005 Real ID Act was a law passed that modifies U.S. federal law as it relates to security, authentication, and procedure standards for state driver's licenses and identity documents, including various immigration issues pertaining to terrorism. Essentially, it changed the federal standards for state-issued driver's licenses and non-driver identification cards, leaving each state to work to become compliant with federal standards.

Currently, Minnesota has an extension for REAL ID enforcement, allowing Federal agencies to accept driver's licenses and identification cards from Minnesota at Federal facilities, nuclear power plants and federally regulated commercial aircraft until March 1, 2019.

For additional information and what documents you will need to bring with you, go to:

https://dps.mn.gov/divisions/dvs/real-id/Pages/default.aspx

To begin applying for the REAL ID:

Officials are encouraging people to start the application process online, before actually going to their License Center.  Here’s the full link: https://dps.mn.gov/divisions/dvs/online-self-services/Pages/default.aspx. Or you can just google: mn dmv self service.  You’ll still need to go in-person to complete the process.


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