Several new state laws went into effect July 1.

State Representative Torrey Westrom, R-Elbow Lake, recently sent information about some of the most notable changes. They include:

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  • A new blood-donor law lowers the legal age for giving blood from 17 to 16 years old, as long as a parent or guardian provides written permission.
  • A surcharge of $1.75 will be added to the cost of renewing driver's licenses, permits, ID cards, vehicle tabs and title registrations. The increased fees will go toward a computer upgrade for the state driver and vehicle services division.
  • Another new law gives military reservists who own businesses leeway when they become active soldiers. The law allows reservist business owners to delay civil cases at least 60 days - and maybe longer in certain situations - when they're deployed.
  • A quarter-cent sales tax increase and a $20 fee on new- and used-car sales hit five metro counties: Hennepin, Ramsey, Anoka, Dakota and Washington. The new taxes will pay for bus, light-rail and commuter-rail improvements in the metro area.

Other changes that came July 1 pertain to changes in funding for various state agencies and departments, Westrom noted.