Retail delivery fee, adoption record release among new July 1 laws

As the calendar turns to July, dozens of new laws take effect in Minnesota.

On the education front, there’s more funding for the READ Act, free college for lower-income students, and earlier pensions for teachers.

There's also a new law that could make your next Amazon delivery a little more expensive.

Repairing potholes and other problems on roads is a never-ending mission in Minnesota. The state usually spends about $2 billion a year on roads and bridges.

A big chunk of the money comes from gas taxes, so until recently the more you drove, the more you contributed to repairs.

"We've been falling further and further behind as the gas tax loses ground to inflation as it loses ground to fuel efficiency," said Sen. Scott Dibble, (DFL-Minneapolis) and chair of the Senate Transportation Committee.

As of July 1, people will contribute an extra 50 cents towards road repairs for every retail delivery of more than $100 in items that aren’t food, medicine, or baby products.

It's a 50-cent fee per order, not per delivery. More than 100 million of those deliveries are going out on the state’s roads every year.

Sen. Erin Maye Quade, (DFL-Apple Valley), authored a couple of new laws taking effect on July 1.

"It was really emotional stories," she said of the one that passed in 2023.

It gives people who were adopted access to their birth records. For the last 85 years, those records have been considered confidential. Now they’re just private and about 172,000 people can get ahold of their own origin stories.

"I wanted to see and hold the piece of paper that recorded the name I was given at birth, my parents’ names, the time and place I was born," said Penelope Needham during a March 2023 hearing on the bill.

Maye Quade also expanded protections against deepfakes used to influence elections.

People convicted of breaking the law will now be blocked from holding office.

She says legislators need to keep an eye on artificial intelligence.

"We're kind of just running headlong into this AI world without any sort of way to detect AI or digital manipulation," she said.

Republicans criticized the retail delivery fee, calling it a junk fee, although most of them voted against a bill eliminating junk fees at places like restaurants and hotels.

Here's a more complete list of new laws, click here.