Health officials say a coronavirus outbreak in the U.S. appears inevitable saying it's not a question of if this will happen but when this will happen and how many people in this country will have severe illnesses. Governor Tim Walz says he's receiving daily briefings on the coronavirus situation: "We're preparing, which it would be reckless not to,... not if, but when we end up with a case in Minnesota." The Trump administration is asking Congress for two-point-five billion dollars in emergency funding to combat the crisis. Democrats have called it too little, too late.
Seven Democratic presidential hopefuls took the stage Tuesday night in the final debate before South Carolina's primary vote and Super Tuesday. The group came down hard on President Trump over his North Korea policy. Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar said the North is still emboldened after three-plus years of Trump's presidency: "He, uh, literally thinks he can go over and bring a hot dish to the dictator next door and he thinks everything is going to be fine." Many say the final debate was defined by shouting, verbal jabs and a lot of cross-talk.
Governor Tim Walz says he'll ask the legislature for funding to clear the backlog of untested "rape kits" -- evidence that medical professionals collect from sex assault victims which could then be used by prosecutors. The governor says: "At a time, the worst moment of someone's life, and going through the procedure of a rape kit and then the idea that they would be put in a cooler and stuck somewhere and lost (is) totally unacceptable." Walz says he wants evidence kits tested so the state can obtain convictions it owes to victims of sexual assault. A bipartisan group of lawmakers [...]
As things got heated during last night's Democratic presidential debate, U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar addressed her fellow candidates on stage: "If we spend the next four months tearing our party apart, we're going to watch Donald Trump spend the next four years tearing our country apart." Klobuchar continued by pointing out that she does not think Bernie Sanders is the right person to lead the ticket. Last night's debate was the final before Saturday's South Carolina primary and Super Tuesday.
The Minnesota House is set to vote later today (415pm start) on a controversial insulin assistance bill. Insulin manufacturers would be charged a fee which would be used to run the program. Democrats contend drug makers have artificially driven up insulin prices to increase profits and should pay to solve the problem. Republicans respond the blame falls on a number of stakeholders and the state should take advantage of pharma's willingness to provide free insulin to those who can't afford it. A bill the Senate is moving forward goes that direction. The stalemate between Democrats and Republicans has been going on [...]
State lawmakers are holding hearings today on bills that aim to cut down on youth tobacco use. Laura Smith with Minnesotans For a Smoke-free Generation says Minnesotans overwhelmingly support tobacco prevention policies--and when it comes to children... "Tobacco 21 will prevent youth tobacco use and save lives, and its passed at the federal level but we need state action to make sure that we have strong enforcement and compliance and make the most of this life-saving law." A bill up for discussion in the state Senate (1 pm) would make the legal tobacco buying age 21 statewide. And today's House hearing [...]
A bipartisan group of lawmakers, joined by former Supreme Court Justice Alan Page and Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, ramped up their push for a constitutional amendment that would guarantee all children the right to a quality public education. Ellison says: "People have looked at our data and say, how could you still profess that you guys are one of the best, when you have the disparities between white children, African American, Native American children, Latino children, special needs and poor white children?" The proposed amendment faces powerful political opposition, including the Education Minnesota teachers union. President Denise Specht says the [...]
Governor Tim Walz is asking the legislature for 250 thousand dollars to improve farm safety in Minnesota. Among the advocates is Michele Gran from Norseland in south-central Minnesota, whose 18-year-old son Landon was killed in a grain bin accident last summer: "Our son's death cannot be in vain. Something good has to come out of this, and if we can save lives through some of these safety measures." Democratic Senator Nick Frentz from North Mankato says the measure has bipartisan support: "We talk to legislators all the time about this work and I have yet to meet a legislator who [...]
Myon Burrell, convicted in the 2002 murder of 11-year-old Tyesha Edwards, tells ABC News he was railroaded by then-prosecutor and now U-S Senator and presidential hopeful Amy Klobuchar: "She re-charged me. She re-charged me with first-degree murder. Never looked into the facts of the case. Never even addressed the misconduct that had taken place, and still put the same detective, the same police on my case, to go and get more bogus evidence." Just before that interview aired on A-B-C, current Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman released a statement accompanied by court findings which he says support Burrell's conviction. But some [...]
After six months of testimony, study and deliberation, today a state working group released a plan that if implemented they believe would help reduce deadly force encounters with law enforcement in Minnesota. State Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington says over the past five years there have been well over 100 officer-involved shootings in the state: "One of the things that was surprising to us, 60-percent of those happen in Greater Minnesota. As much as I think we all hear about the ones that happen in the Twin Cities it's Greater Minnesota where we spend a lot of our time having this [...]