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Why emergency insulin measure was left out Legislature’s final budget bills

Nicole Smith-Holt, James Holt, Jr
MinnPost photo by Peter Callaghan
James Holt, Jr. speaking during a roundtable discussion in December sponsored by Sen. Matt Little. A picture of their son, Alec Smith, is on the dais.

The Star Tribune’s Jessie Van Berkel writes: “Nicole Smith-Holt had been hopeful up until the final hours of the legislative special session that there would be enough support at the Capitol to pass an emergency insulin program this year that had been inspired in part by the death of her son. But what had seemed like almost a sure thing instead was lost in the confusion of 11th-hour budget negotiations, potential clerical oversights, contradictory accounts from lawmakers and, ultimately, industry opposition. … The proposal’s fate was ultimately decided in complex end-of-session negotiations that happened outside the public eye.

From MPR’s Briana Bierschbach: “Gov. Tim Walz doesn’t want to call this a status-quo legislative session, even though some of his political allies and fellow Democrats have already started calling it that. … Yes, lawmakers adjourned the regular session without a budget, and yes, Walz did have to call a one-day special session to finish the work. But he said things could have gone much worse negotiating a deal with one of the only divided legislatures in the nation. … ‘Functioning government matters,’ he said. ‘In a very chaotic and unpredictable world, there’s a sense that normalcy to how we go about our democracy is important.’”

KSTP-TV reports: “Lawyers involved in a wrongful death lawsuit filed by Prince’s next of kin spent seven hours Wednesday deposing the late music icon’s former bodyguard Kirk Johnson. The deposition took place at the Carver County Courthouse in Chaska where the lawsuit, filed last August, is being heard before Judge Janet Barke Cain. The suit names as defendants Iowa Health System (UnityPoint), the parent company of the Illinois hospital that treated Prince days before his death in April 2016, Walgreens, North Memorial Health Care and Dr. Michael T. Schulenberg.”

Related, also from KSTP: “The 188 acres of land in Chanhassen formerly owned by the late music icon Prince is a big step closer to becoming a major housing development. Lennar Homes recently submitted its final plans for the property, including details that range all the way down to proposed street names. Homeowners in the development could one day live on ‘Raspberry Road,’ ‘Dove Court,’ or ‘Alphabet Street,’ nods to three of Prince’s many big hits…”

WCCO reports: “We had a long winter and that meant we put a lot of salt on our roadways. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency says much of that salt has ended up in our lakes and rivers. … ‘Within the Twin Cities metro area there are approximately 50 water bodies that have too much chloride or too much salt in them already. It’s already impacting the fish and aquatic communities,’ Katrina Kessler, assistant commissioner for the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, said. She said the biggest culprit is road salt. It’s estimated that about 350,000 tons of road salt are used each year in the Twin Cities.”

Stribber Pam Louwagie says, “Land-use officials in Minnesota’s northeasternmost county have issued a cease-and-desist order for earthwork on a building project with connections to a former leader of a controversial religious sect. A letter from Cook County Planning and Zoning administrators addressed to Emerald Industries LLC and Seth Jeffs says a project underway on Pike Lake Road isn’t complying with a wetland exemption and grade and fill permit.”

An AP story says, “A gray wolf that was moved from Canada to Michigan’s Isle Royale National Park over the winter has been found dead. Officials said Wednesday the black-coated male’s body was found in the middle of a large, swampy area at the southwestern end of the Lake Superior wilderness island. Its tracking collar had been transmitting a mortality signal since late March. Personnel had to wait until the park opened for the season in mid-April to investigate. The carcass was too badly decomposed to determine a cause of death.”

Comments (2)

  1. Submitted by Pat Terry on 05/30/2019 - 10:25 am.

    “But what had seemed like almost a sure thing instead was lost in the confusion of 11th-hour budget negotiations, potential clerical oversights, contradictory accounts from lawmakers and, ultimately, industry opposition.”

    Nope. There is only one reason this did not go through. The Republican Senate leadership killed it. Stop making excuses. Stop both-sidesing this issue. Tell the truth about what happened.

    • Submitted by Josh Lease on 05/30/2019 - 11:34 am.

      and stop acting like the big tragedy and doom for all good things this session was closed door negotiations that kept the press out. The grandstanding for the press has been the biggest barrier to getting a deal done, because as soon as a leak comes that there might be a deal, the republican outrage machine starts up and kills it.

      If you want to report on the industry lobbying and who is bending on because of it, then DO IT. But you’re never going to get any more info by opening up a negotiations session, all you get is more posturing.

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