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Minnesota House passes emergency insulin bill

Plus: Bernie Sanders to rally in St. Paul Monday; Klobuchar announces she’s skipping AIPAC meeting; tobacco-control measures advance at the Minnesota Legislature; and more.

Insulin supplies
Insulin supplies
REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

In the Star Tribune, Torey Van Oot writes:The DFL majority in the Minnesota House passed a bill Wednesday night that would assess fees on drugmakers to fund an emergency insulin program, a plan that faces significant opposition in the Republican-led Senate. Democrats have put a potential price tag of more than $38 million on the program, nearly four times the estimate from a year ago. But the final version of the measure could look significantly different — if legislators are able to reach an agreement with Senate Republicans.”

From the AP: An employee opened fire Wednesday at one of the nation’s largest breweries in Milwaukee, killing five fellow workers before taking his own life, police said. The assailant who attacked the Molson Coors complex was identified as a 51-year-old Milwaukee man who died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, police said. … Authorities offered no immediate motive for the attack and did not release details about the shooter or how the shooting unfolded. … The complex is widely known in the Milwaukee area as “Miller Valley,” a reference to the Miller Brewing Co. that is now part of Molson Coors. Molson Coors CEO Gavin Hattersley called the shooter ‘an active brewery employee.’”

An MPR story says, “The front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination will be in Minnesota the night before the state’s presidential primary. Vermont U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders has scheduled a rally for 7:30 p.m. Monday at the St. Paul RiverCentre. Minnesota and more than a dozen other states hold primaries on Tuesday. A recent MPR News/Star Tribune poll showed Sen. Amy Klobuchar with a slight lead over Sanders in Minnesota with lots of voters undecided.”

For NPR, Rachel Treisman writes, “Democratic presidential candidate Amy Klobuchar declared on the debate stage Tuesday night that she was ‘the only one up here with the receipts.’ That was far from the first time the senator from Minnesota has emphatically employed the phrase along the campaign trail. … Perhaps Klobuchar picked up on that could-be catchphrase after a Washington Post article in October 2019 declared this: ‘Every Democrat argues that he or she can win back Trump voters. Klobuchar is the only candidate with the receipts.’ In mid-January she used it in a spin room following the Iowa debate. … And since then the metaphor has made multiple appearances, most notably in campaign speeches and on debate stages.”

For Common Dream, Julia Conley writes, “Succumbing to grassroots pressure, Sen. Amy Klobuchar and former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg both announced Wednesday that they would not attend the Israel lobby’s meeting this year, making them the latest two Democratic presidential candidates to decline an invitation to address the conference. Jewish-led group IfNotNow credited its #SkipAIPAC campaign — which it’s leading with MoveOn, Indivisible, and the Working Families Party — as well as years of public pressure from defenders of Palestinians’ human rights — with convincing Buttigieg and Klobuchar to skip the conference.”

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For BringMeTheNews, Joe Nelson says, “A photo of socks and underwear inside a Minnesota Walmart is going viral at a local level.  Why would a picture of run-of-the-mill undergarments be the talk of St. Cloud? It’s because they are locked in a glass case, similar to what you might find in the electronics department at many a retail store. The unusual arrangement can be found at the Walmart at 3601 2nd. St. S., and a picture of it has gone viral on Facebook, being shared more than 1,600 times.”

At Reuters, Chris Prentice says, “Although Wells Fargo & Co settled major probes with federal agencies over abusive sales practices last week, the bank and its former executives are not out of the woods yet, legal and regulatory experts said. … Prosecutors agreed not to pursue criminal charges against the bank if Wells cooperates with other investigations and complies with relevant laws for three years. However, the deal did not address issues with Wells’ mortgage and auto-lending businesses, where customers were enrolled in unwanted products that charged fees. Nor does it preclude potential charges against individuals who were in charge at the time of sales abuses.

MPR’s Paul Huttner says, “Time to open up your local Dairy Queen? The weather maps appear ready to deliver the warmest air mass Minnesota has seen in four months. … NOAA’s 16-day GFS temperature output cranks out highs in the 50s for the Twin Cities around March 11. That’s still a long way off for total forecast confidence, but the mild signal has been persistent for a few days now.”

Brian Bakst of MPR reports, “A pair of tobacco-control measures advanced in the Minnesota Legislature with little opposition Wednesday while a third bill to outlaw flavored vape juices and menthol cigarettes prompted dire warnings on both sides of the debate. Lawmakers from both parties and in both chambers are pushing for tougher tobacco laws this year, with some gaining a lift from recently enacted federal changes. …Passions ran strongest on the Minnesota flavor ban bill, sponsored by DFL Rep. Laurie Halverson of Eagan, who said ‘vaping has spread like wildfire.’”

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