Skip to main content Skip to office menu Skip to footer
Capital IconMinnesota Legislature

Legislative News and Views - Rep. Michael Nelson (DFL)

Back to profile

Legislative Update: Our First Floor Votes of 2020

Friday, February 28, 2020

Rep. Nelson


It’s been a busy week at the State Capitol with committee hearings, advocate meetings, and our first floor votes of the legislative session. The Minnesota House put some urgency behind our initial bills as they were either already extensively vetted last year, or dealt with time-sensitive issues.


Passing the Alec Smith Insulin Affordability Act

Last week, I highlighted the importance of the Alec Smith Insulin Affordability Act as it passed through my committee, one of seven it passed through in seven days, and I’m extremely proud to have helped pass it off the House floor this week. With 1 in 4 Type 1 Diabetics rationing their insulin because they can no longer afford it, it’s important that we get this bill to the governor’s desk as soon as possible.

Insulin Cost Graph

The Alec Smith Insulin Affordability Act creates a statewide insulin assistance program to help Minnesotans who struggle to afford the insulin they desperately need. Minnesotans struggling to afford their insulin can apply and receive an emergency fill of insulin at their community pharmacy. The bill includes compromises with Republicans, including a $30 co-pay for patients and state set-up costs that total roughly $1 million. Alec’s Bill will largely be funded by a fee on the three multi-national insulin manufacturers that control over 90 percent of the market and recorded $20 billion in profits in the last 12 months. It’s time for Big Pharma to help pay for a solution to this crisis.


Protecting the Privacy of Your Vote

Another bill we recently passed off the House floor, one that I’m honored to co-author, would give voters the ability to opt-out of sharing their party preference in the upcoming presidential primary while also restricting the sharing of that data only to a national party representative, and only for the purpose of verifying participation in the primary.

Following concerns of accessibility that arose during Minnesota’s 2016 presidential caucuses, the Minnesota Legislature responded that year by reinstating the state’s presidential primary for 2020, its first since 1992. The presidential primary process requires voters to select a party ballot from which to nominate a candidate, and current law allows an individual’s party preference data to be shared with Minnesota’s major political parties. The candidate a voter selected would not be shared.

The Legislature was able to quickly respond when this primary was established, there’s no reason we can’t be quick to respond to the legitimate concerns the public has for their data. I hope, just as with the Alec Smith Insulin Affordability Act, that the Minnesota Senate can treat these bills with the same sense of urgency.


Stay Connected

There are other incredibly important issues that we’re working on, from common-sense gun violence prevention to paid family and medical leave. As our work progresses on these and other issues, please feel free to reach out with any questions or comments you have on the legislative process. I’m best reached at (651) 296-3751 or I appreciate your input.




Rep. Michael V. Nelson