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05.27.07

Governor signs laws on body piercing, gift cards, mercury

Posted in Piercing News at 6:32 pm by admin

ST. PAUL — No more eyebrow studs for underage Minnesotans — at least not unless Mom or Dad goes along to the piercing parlor and signs a consent form.

Gov. Tim Pawlenty signed a body piercing bill into law Monday, threatening jail time and fines for body piercers who perform work on minors without getting parental consent. The law, which takes effect Aug. 1, doesn’t apply for traditional ear piercings.

Pawlenty also signed several other proposals that got noticed this year.

— Expiration dates and service fees for gift cards will be banned starting Aug. 1, but the law doesn’t apply to bank-issued cards that can be redeemed at multiple stores.

— Operators of carnival rides must be insured for at least $2 million for accidents. Inspectors will have to examine the rides every year, and operators must inspect their own rides every day before running them.

— Throwing out fluorescent light bulbs will become illegal under a law that also outlaws the sale of mercury-containing thermostats and other devices, with an exception for replacement parts where no mercury-free product is available. Schools will get even stricter mercury restrictions.

— The “Car Buyers Bill of Rights” will make dealers disclose the full cost of add-ons like rustproofing and alarm systems. Starting Jan. 1, they also won’t be able to sell used vehicles as “certified” if the odometer was altered or the car sustained damage from a crash, flood or fire.

— The quest by the small town of Rockford to escape Hennepin County property taxes could go before voters. The new law allows Hennepin and Wright county officials to move ahead with a ballot question on Rockford’s boundaries, without collecting thousands of signatures.

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