Last night, the Minnesota House passed two bills, HF3100 establishing an Emergency Insulin program 75-52 and HF3068 regulating the Presidential Primary results 72-55. Both set up a conflict with the Senate.
In regards to Insulin the DFL wants the companies, which have generated significant profits by elevating the costs of what used to be a relatively affordable lifesaving drug. The Senate is proposing a mechanism through which the companies can provide a voucher, which provides an opportunity for a write-off.
The Presidential Primary data issue is one that may have more opportunities for compromise, but the sticking point will be with former Secretary of State, Sen Mary Kiffmeyer (R-30, Big Lake), who is consciously aware of the system as constructed since she played a major role in the current legislation.
Kiffmeyer is quite in tune with the various effects changes in the electoral process have on her political party and some other admendments to election law might be a way to soften her opposition. She has shown an interest in the creation of “provisional ballots” rather than the allowance of Same Day registrants to be automatically added into the voting result. She also is a stringent opponent to Ranked Choice Voting, HF3365 which is Rep Steve Elkins (DFL-49B, Edina) Bill, and a ban on this process in the entire state would likely create a warming trend to other electoral issues, with her.
Since this is an election year all legislators are hyper-sensitive to any electoral changes because they will need to adapt their campaigns, which are underway to any different processes.
We spoke with Secretary of State Steve Simon (DFL-MN) about the timing of changes to distribution of the Presidential Primary data and he said, the counties have ten weeks to provide, but also can ask for a four week extension so the expectation being the data will not be available until early May. In a conversation with another reporter he related a comment by DFL Party Chair Ken Martin, the the DFL doesn’t actually need this data because they know largely how the electorate responds from their access to the VAN (Voter Action Network).