Gov. Mark Dayton this week signed the bill, which is aimed at giving ex-felons a better chance at getting a job in the private sector. It prohibits most private employers from asking job applicants about criminal backgrounds until later in the process -- at the point of an interview or a provisional job offer.
It is called 'Ban the Box' because it refers to a criminal history checkoff box on most job applications. It does not prohibit employers from fully checking out criminal histories of all applicants.
"This will create opportunities for Minnesotans to be judged on skills and qualifications and not just the past," said Sen. Bobby Joe Champion, DFL-Minneapolis, the Senate sponsor. He said it will help employers by providing a larger pool of potential employees from which to choose.
It takes effect Jan. 1, 2014. The provision currently exists in public employment; the new law extends it to private employers.
The new law exempts jobs from which people with felonies are excluded, or services that work with vulnerable clients, such as nursing homes. It also protects employers from lawsuits based on the law, referring complaints to the state Human Rights Department.
Amid reports that Donald Trump was in danger of not getting on Minnesota's presidential ballot, the Trump campaign says everything is in order and voters will have a chance to cast their ballot for him in November.
Interest groups spent less slightly money lobbying state government in 2015 than in the previous year, according to a report released Wednesday by the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board.