SEVERE WX : Special Weather Statement View Alerts

Walz to push gun control, insulin affordability in 2020

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz - AP image

With summer winding down, Gov. Tim Walz said Tuesday that he's looking ahead toward the 2020 legislative session, with plans to push proposals for making insulin affordable, reducing gun violence, clean energy and criminal justice reform.

Posted: Sep 17, 2019 7:50 PM

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — With summer winding down, Gov. Tim Walz said Tuesday that he's looking ahead toward the 2020 legislative session, with plans to push proposals for making insulin affordable, reducing gun violence, clean energy and criminal justice reform.

The Democratic governor said in an interview with The Associated Press that he's currently taking a "hard look" at each state agency to see what they could do better and where legislation might be needed. He said he's also reaching out to stakeholders to start building coalitions to support the policy proposals that he plans to advance in the next session, which convenes Feb. 11, 2020.

Walz said he still thinks there's a chance for a one-day special session soon to pass funding for emergency insulin supplies, which failed to pass in the closing hours of the 2019 session due to disagreements over how to fund it. He said he plans another push for gun safety legislation, meaning universal background checks and a "red flag" law to temporarily take guns from people judged to be a threat to themselves or others, which hit a roadblock in the GOP-controlled Senate.

"I can't do these alone," he said. "It's going to take the House and the Senate. It seems like there's an appetite to tackle insulin, (we're) probably closer there than on gun safety. But we'll still bring it up."

The governor noted that leaders of the Democratic-controlled House are currently holding listening sessions on insulin and that Speaker Melissa Hortman has said they'll have a bill ready late this month. Senate Republican leaders have called a news conference for Thursday to roll out their own insulin plan.

Walz also said he expects to propose a public works borrowing bill, also known as a bonding bill, at least as big as the $1.27 billion package he proposed last session, which failed to get traction in a year when passing a budget was the top priority. Chances will be better in 2020 because the Legislature traditionally devotes even-numbered years to bonding bills.

While President Donald Trump has sent mixed signals on what national gun legislation he might support, Walz said he thinks there's enough "political and public will" to enact it in Minnesota. He said the 2020 elections, when the Senate GOP's thin majority will be at stake, could foster bipartisan cooperation by pressuring suburban Republicans. Guns were an issue when Democrats took control of the Minnesota House in 2018 by ejecting numerous suburban Republicans, when the Senate was not up for re-election.

"For the Republican Senate to maintain its majority it has got to win in the suburbs," he said.

While the governor said he expects the presidential race to overshadow the 2020 elections, he dismissed Trump's claims that he can win in historically blue Minnesota, even though the president came in 2016.

"He can't, but I encourage him to try," he said. "... This is about turnout. We found out what happened when we stayed home in 2016. We also found out what happens when we show up in 2018."

Walz also said he'll be back with his Clean Energy First proposal to require that Minnesota electrical utilities go carbon-free by 2050, which drew opposition last session from rural utilities.

And he said he expects to propose a criminal justice reform package, a favorite cause of first lady Gwen Walz. He said it's likely to include a project patterned after one in New York state that has slashed recidivism by putting inmates through rigorous college degree programs.

The first lady came under criticism while promoting the idea at a forum at Twin Cities Public Television last May. Minnesota Public Radio reported Monday that she was taken aback by a moderator's questions about race, apparently unprepared to talk about the racial aspects of criminal justice. The governor said racial inequities will be part of the conversation going forward.

"These are always hard conversations. They're never far from us. I think we continue to learn and listen to communities and move forward," he said. "I'm just proud that I've got a partner and we've got a first lady that's willing to take on the hardest issues."

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 560450

Reported Deaths: 7122
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1167211690
Ramsey48313858
Dakota42928423
Anoka38965419
Washington25195274
Stearns21198219
St. Louis16926298
Scott16187118
Wright14964128
Olmsted1282897
Sherburne1072580
Carver993045
Clay787390
Rice7701102
Blue Earth704240
Kandiyohi631381
Crow Wing624286
Chisago554750
Otter Tail547673
Benton536697
Mower453032
Goodhue448572
Douglas446071
Winona439549
Nobles401948
Morrison397559
McLeod397255
Isanti382559
Itasca379053
Beltrami375457
Polk367967
Steele366214
Becker359448
Lyon349748
Carlton331152
Freeborn329629
Pine313821
Nicollet310343
Brown295639
Mille Lacs285450
Le Sueur273822
Todd270030
Cass252526
Meeker239137
Waseca231921
Martin215230
Wabasha20003
Roseau198319
Hubbard174441
Renville172943
Dodge17253
Redwood166735
Houston162714
Cottonwood158221
Fillmore15229
Pennington151519
Chippewa147537
Wadena145821
Faribault145519
Sibley137110
Kanabec133622
Aitkin129436
Watonwan12609
Rock123419
Jackson118210
Yellow Medicine111319
Pipestone110526
Pope10386
Murray10319
Swift100418
Marshall85817
Stevens83310
Lake78819
Clearwater78514
Koochiching77813
Wilkin77312
Lac qui Parle73922
Big Stone5764
Lincoln5613
Grant5528
Norman5229
Mahnomen5178
Unassigned48678
Kittson46822
Red Lake3877
Traverse3625
Lake of the Woods3073
Cook1480

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 359450

Reported Deaths: 5839
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk56274608
Linn20392330
Scott19245236
Black Hawk15611306
Woodbury14960221
Johnson1415481
Dubuque13196203
Dallas1094596
Pottawattamie10804162
Story1035747
Warren559186
Clinton541791
Cerro Gordo524987
Webster508792
Sioux507873
Marshall477575
Muscatine463297
Des Moines443165
Wapello4255121
Buena Vista422140
Jasper408470
Plymouth398779
Lee369255
Marion355775
Jones293455
Henry286837
Carroll280152
Bremer279860
Crawford262840
Boone259633
Benton251155
Washington249850
Dickinson243743
Mahaska225750
Jackson218942
Kossuth213763
Clay212325
Tama206971
Delaware204539
Winneshiek194933
Page190721
Buchanan189031
Cedar185023
Fayette183541
Hardin181942
Wright180635
Hamilton178449
Harrison176673
Clayton167355
Butler162734
Mills159020
Cherokee157738
Floyd156242
Lyon155341
Madison154819
Poweshiek153233
Allamakee149351
Iowa146224
Hancock144234
Winnebago136931
Grundy135532
Cass135154
Calhoun133411
Jefferson131235
Emmet129940
Shelby129037
Sac128419
Louisa127349
Appanoose126747
Mitchell125441
Union123332
Chickasaw122715
Guthrie118529
Humboldt118426
Franklin113121
Palo Alto111323
Howard102922
Montgomery101537
Unassigned10040
Clarke98524
Keokuk95031
Monroe94528
Ida90133
Adair84832
Pocahontas84121
Monona81430
Davis79924
Osceola77116
Greene76710
Lucas75723
Worth7138
Taylor65412
Fremont6169
Decatur5919
Van Buren55518
Ringgold53624
Wayne52123
Audubon4969
Adams3314
Rochester/St. Mary'S
Partly Cloudy
61° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 61°
Mason City
Clear
61° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 61°
Albert Lea
Partly Cloudy
61° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 61°
Austin
Partly Cloudy
61° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 33°
Feels Like: 61°
Charles City
Partly Cloudy
61° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 33°
Feels Like: 61°
Sunny and pleasant for Earth Day on Thursday
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

Aaron's Evening Forecast (4/21/21)

Image

Aaron's Evening Forecast (4/20/21)

Image

Bulls defeat Grizzlies in Fraser Cup Final

Image

Bruins continue fight for playoff bid

Image

Aaron's Evening Forecast (4/19/21)

Image

Sean's Weather 4/19

Image

Mayo Clinic Doctor creates art for patients

Image

Electric car show

Image

Walk a Block

Image

Cleaning up Chester Woods

Community Events