Affordable insulin and voter privacy top talking points ahead of new legislative session

2020 Minnesota Legislative Session convenes February 11

WCCO Radio Newsroom
January 30, 2020 - 7:20 am
Capitol in the winter time

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With the 2020 Minnesota legislative session less than two weeks away, lawmakers are already tackling some of the state's biggest issues.

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz on Thursday morning will meet with reporters at the State Capitol in St. Paul to discuss affordable insulin. It was a topic that drew passionate response from the public in 2019, but no clear-cut solutions were brought forward by Republicans and Democrats.

WCCO political insider Blois Olson discussed the situation during WCCO Morning News on Thursday.

"Right now, Democrats want a new state program to run this while Republicans want insulin companies to run the program," Olson told WCCO's John Hines. "Republicans are very concerned about setting a precedent in terms of creating a new state program. They're worried that if you do this for insulin, then you'll have to do it for the next high-priced drug that comes along."

Still, Gov. Walz will look to rally both sides ahead of the new session.

Last year, neither side was able to present a clear-cut solution to provide insulin to diabetics in Minnesota who couldn't afford it. In the meantime, Colorado became the first state to cap the copay cost of insulin to $100 a month for insured residents, no matter how much they need or what it costs.

2020 remains a critical year for state and national politics.

Minnesota is in the midst of early voting in the state's first primary election since 1992 and voter privacy is a concern.

Andover Republican Representative Peggy Scott is introducing a legislation to prohibit the government from collecting information on which primary ballot voters choose.

"I'm doing this because I've heard from people that are concerned their information will get out there and they're afraid what will happen as a result," Scott said. "Whatever happens, both parties should be treated equally."

State DFL Chair Ken Martin applauded Rep. Scott's efforts in a statement released on Tuesday expressing concerns regarding voter privacy.

Minnesota GOP Chairwoman Jennifer Carnahan has called DFL concerns "baseless" in a statement issued January 23

Carnahan addes, "The Republican Party of Minnesota takes voter privacy and data security very seriously and will continue to work to ensure necessary security measures just as we do with the voter information we have used for years."

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