The first day of 2018 saw a handful of new laws go into effect, including one related to election dates and another on specialty license plates.

The laws were passed by the Legislature in 2017. To sum up: Nothing too earth-shattering in this collection of statutes.

Uniform election dates

This law requires cities, towns and school districts to hold special elections on one of five dates: the second Tuesday of February, April, May or August or the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November. The dates can be modified in the event of an emergency or natural disaster.

Eye drop refills covered

Health plans must cover refills of prescription eye drops sooner than the expiration of a 30-day or 90-day supply, if the plan covers the drops.

Home-care worker training

Home health care workers will get more opportunity to study age-related hearing loss in their patients. Such hearing loss can lead to depression, hospitalizations and falls. The training counts toward annual training requirements for home health care workers.

New specialty license plates

A new license plate that honors police officers killed in the line of duty will be coming, thanks to this new law. The Department of Public Safety will design the new plate. It costs $10 plus a $25 donation to the Minnesota Law Enforcement Memorial Association plus a minimum $5 donation every year afterward.

Other license plate changes

Starting Jan. 1, a person can apply for disability license plates for a motorized bicycle or moped. A new license plate for retired law enforcement and a “Start Seeing Motorcycles” plate have also been authorized.

A complete list of all new laws created in 2017, including many that went into effect before Jan. 1., can be found at

The 2018 legislative session opens Feb. 20 and should wrap up by May 21.