Walz signs bill eliminating hidden junk fees

On Monday, Gov. Tim Walz signed a bill into law addressing hidden junk fees on products and services.

The bill requires the disclosure of mandatory fees in product advertising to eliminate hidden fees.

The bill is different but similar to the ticket transparency bill that the governor already signed this session, which eliminates hidden added costs for tickets and requires the full prices to be shown upfront to customers at the beginning of the transaction.

Like that bill, junk fees are considered additional charges at the end of the transaction, including convenience and processing fees, but they do not include tax. Under the new law, failing to disclose these fees will be considered a deceptive trade practice.

The cost of something, including fees, will be required to be shown upfront to customers at the start of the transaction.

The hidden junk fees bill includes many areas of commerce and products, such as restaurant meals, hotels, and credit cards.

The bill passed the Minnesota House on April 11 and the Minnesota Senate on May 1. It then went to a conference committee to iron out some differences between the two versions of the bills, and the new version passed the House on May 13 and the Senate on May 16.

The new law will go into effect on Jan. 1, except for industries with prices regulated by the Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC,) which starts June 1, 2025.