The following is a list of select new laws passed during the 2019 regular and special legislative sessions that took effect Jan. 1, 2020.

Summaries of all laws passed by the 2019 Legislature in regular and special sessions are available online from nonpartisan House Public Information Services at search/2019.

Tooth, tusk, horn trading prohibited

The omnibus environment and natural resources law from the 2019 special session prohibits someone from purchasing or selling a prohibited animal part if they know or should know it is a prohibited animal part. The provision regarding intrastate purchases takes effect Jan. 1, 2020.

A prohibited animal part is defined as, “a tooth or tusk from any species of elephant, hippopotamus, mammoth, mastodon, walrus, whale, or narwhal, or any piece thereof, whether raw or worked” and “a horn; piece of horn; or derivative of a horn, such as a powder, of any species of rhinoceros.”

Interstate commerce sale or purchase of these items is prohibited by federal law.

Prohibited animal parts will be forfeited to the state upon conviction and must be destroyed or given to a nonprofit for an educational or scientific purpose.

Rep. Rick Hansen (DFL-South St. Paul) and Sen. Bill Ingebrigtsen (R-Alexandria) sponsor the law.

Pharmacy benefit manager licensure

Increased oversight of pharmacy benefit managers, who administer prescription drug benefits for health carriers and employers, is intended to improve transparency and serve as a first step in reigning in dramatic and sudden increases in prescription costs.

PBMs operating in Minnesota will need to be licensed by the Department of Commerce, which will allow the state to impose requirements in areas including network adequacy, ownership interest and transparency.

License applications and renewals will require fees and evidence of fiscal responsibility. PBMs may be  fined $5,000 for every day they act without a license and additional civil penalties can be imposed for failure to comply with transparency requirements, including annual reports slated to begin in 2020.

Licenses can be suspended, revoked or placed on probation in several instances, including when the PBM has engaged in fraudulent activity, failed to pay a license or renewal fee or failed to comply with other requirements outlined in the law.

Rep. Alice Mann (DFL-Lakeville) and Sen. Scott Jensen (R-Chaska) are the sponsors.

Continuing education for controlled substance prescribers

Much of the state’s sweeping, multifaceted response to the opioid crisis was included in a new law that took effect on July 1, 2019.

A provision effective Jan. 1, 2020, will compel the Boards of Medical Practice, Nursing, Dentistry, Optometry, and Podiatric Medicine to require licensees with the authority to prescribe controlled substances obtain at least two hours of continuing education regarding best practices in prescribing opioids and controlled substances as part of the continuing education requirements for licensure renewal.

The law is sponsored by Rep. Liz Olson (DFL-Duluth) and Sen. Julie Rosen (R-Vernon Center).

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