(FOX 9) - After enduring an attack, and having little recourse for justice, an Andover woman mounted a push to make marital rape a crime in Minnesota. Now, starting Monday, the law she fought for will go into effect, along with other new laws.
The bill barring marital rape in the state easily passed both chambers and was signed by the governor, thanks to the efforts of Jenny Teeson.
Teeson says her now ex-husband drugged and raped her and due to the marital rape exception she never got justice. "To everyone out there, if you believe in something and you know something isn't just, start moving," she says. "Persistence truly does pay off."
Also going into effect Monday, drug manufacturers will be assessed higher fees to help fund the fight against the opioid epidemic. The new law is estimated to bring in $21 million annually.
Hamline political science professor David Schultz says the bill was a compromise as much tougher ones were proposed.
"In many ways, this was the weakest of all the bills that were proposed," said Schultz. "No one has a clear idea of what to actually do to address the opioid drug crisis, but this bill is the first step."
Finally, Minnesota becomes one of the toughest states when it comes to punishing those who commit wage theft. Cheating employees out of earned pay will now come with a punishment of up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Schultz says, "It will be a big improvement for a lot of people, especially those people in lower income positions, lower wage jobs who often times are subject to this wage theft."
All of these new laws go into effect July 1 with more to follow on the first of August.