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HF 561

4th Engrossment - 83rd Legislature (2003 - 2004) Posted on 12/15/2009 12:00am

KEY: stricken = removed, old language.
underscored = added, new language.

Current Version - 4th Engrossment

  1.1                          A bill for an act 
  1.2             relating to commerce; requiring uniform mandatory 
  1.3             penalties against license holders and a licensee's 
  1.4             employees for sales to minors; providing for 
  1.5             mitigating circumstances in assessing penalties; 
  1.6             amending Minnesota Statutes 2002, sections 461.12, 
  1.7             subdivision 2; 461.19.  
  1.9      Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 461.12, 
  1.10  subdivision 2, is amended to read: 
  1.11     Subd. 2.  [ADMINISTRATIVE PENALTIES; LICENSEES.] (a) If a 
  1.12  licensee or employee of a licensee sells tobacco to a person 
  1.13  under the age of 18 years, or violates any other provision of 
  1.14  this chapter, the licensee shall be charged an administrative 
  1.15  penalty of at least $75 but no more than $500.  An 
  1.16  administrative penalty of at least $200 but no more than $1,000 
  1.17  must be imposed for a second violation at the same location 
  1.18  within 24 months after the initial violation.  An administrative 
  1.19  penalty of at least $250 but no more than $2,500 and up to a 
  1.20  three-day license suspension may be imposed for a third 
  1.21  violation at the same location within 24 months after the 
  1.22  initial violation.  For a third subsequent violation at the same 
  1.23  location within 24 months after the initial violation, both of 
  1.24  the following may be imposed:  
  1.25     (1) an administrative penalty of at least $250 must be 
  1.26  imposed, and but no more than $5,000; 
  2.1      (2) the licensee's authority to sell tobacco at that 
  2.2   location must may be suspended for not less than up to a maximum 
  2.3   of seven days. 
  2.4      (b) The licensing authority may suspend or revoke a tobacco 
  2.5   license if the licensee fails to act on any of the following: 
  2.6      (1) imposition of disciplinary sanctions of an employee 
  2.7   with multiple noncompliant sales to a minor; 
  2.8      (2) failure to conduct a minimum of one-half hour of 
  2.9   training, annually, documented by passing a written test, on 
  2.10  state laws concerning tobacco sales to minors; 
  2.11     (3) failure to adopt and enforce a written employee policy, 
  2.12  reviewed by the licensing authority, to prevent the sale of 
  2.13  tobacco to minors; or 
  2.14     (4) failure of a third compliance check while not 
  2.15  participating in a licensing authority local "defined retailer 
  2.16  program."  For purposes of this clause, "defined retailer 
  2.17  program" means a voluntary program between the tobacco licensing 
  2.18  authority and the tobacco license holder.  The program must: 
  2.19     (1) consist of a tobacco compliance coordinator; 
  2.20     (2) provide training by the licensing authority for tobacco 
  2.21  retailer employees; 
  2.22     (3) reward employees for successfully blocking sales to 
  2.23  underaged customers; 
  2.24     (4) encourage self-reporting of blocked sales to underaged 
  2.25  customers; 
  2.26     (5) have an advisory panel consisting of city personnel and 
  2.27  tobacco retailers to look at the development and review of the 
  2.28  training curriculum; 
  2.29     (6) have a review panel consisting of the compliance 
  2.30  coordinator, a city council or county board member, a local 
  2.31  tobacco retailer, and a member of the local city staff; and 
  2.32     (7) not establish or impose penalties greater or less than 
  2.33  those specified in paragraph (a).  
  2.34     (c) No suspension or penalty may take effect until the 
  2.35  licensee has received notice, served personally or by mail, of 
  2.36  the alleged violation and an opportunity for a hearing before a 
  3.1   person authorized by the licensing authority to conduct the 
  3.2   hearing. 
  3.3      (d) In determining the amount of a penalty and the length 
  3.4   of a license suspension, at a hearing as specified in paragraph 
  3.5   (c), the local licensing authority shall take into consideration 
  3.6   as mitigating circumstances evidence provided by a licensee of a 
  3.7   licensee's adoption and enforcement of a written employee policy 
  3.8   to prevent the sale of tobacco to minors, a licensee's training 
  3.9   program to instruct employees on applicable laws and how to 
  3.10  prevent sales of tobacco to minors, a licensee's adoption and 
  3.11  imposition of disciplinary sanctions for employee noncompliance 
  3.12  with the licensee's policies, a licensee's policy of conducting 
  3.13  voluntary internal compliance checks to test compliance with 
  3.14  section 609.685, and whether a licensee or a licensee's employee 
  3.15  verified the age of the customer during the transaction in 
  3.16  question and reasonably relied on the age verification to 
  3.17  complete the sale.  A decision that a violation has occurred 
  3.18  must be in writing and must include a summary of the mitigating 
  3.19  circumstances considered by the local licensing authority in 
  3.20  assessing a penalty or a license suspension.  
  3.21     Sec. 2.  Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 461.19, is 
  3.22  amended to read: 
  3.24     Sections 461.12 to 461.18 do not preempt a local ordinance 
  3.25  that provides for more restrictive regulation of tobacco sales, 
  3.26  except that on and after the effective date of this act, a 
  3.27  licensing authority shall not assess or impose a penalty on a 
  3.28  licensee or an employee of a licensee that is greater than the 
  3.29  administrative penalties set forth in section 461.12, 
  3.30  subdivisions 2 and 3.  A governing body shall give notice of its 
  3.31  intention to consider adoption or substantial amendment of any 
  3.32  local ordinance required under section 461.12 or permitted under 
  3.33  this section.  The governing body shall take reasonable steps to 
  3.34  send notice by mail at least 30 days prior to the meeting to the 
  3.35  last known address of each licensee or person required to hold a 
  3.36  license under section 461.12.  The notice shall state the time, 
  4.1   place, and date of the meeting and the subject matter of the 
  4.2   proposed ordinance. 
  4.3      Sec. 3.  [EFFECTIVE DATE; APPLICATION.] 
  4.4      Sections 1 and 2 are effective the day following final 
  4.5   enactment and apply to administrative penalties imposed on or 
  4.6   after that date.