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At Issue: Minnesota prepares to send troops to the Middle East, Senate insulin affordability plan, new U of M president and Fort Snelling reopens

Updated: September 22, 2019 08:08 PM

Minnesota National Guard Soldiers Being Deployed
Nearly 700 soldiers from the Minnesota National Guard will be deployed to the Middle East. Members of the 34th Expeditionary Combat Aviation Brigade of St. Paul will support air operations that are focused on disrupting ISIS in both Iraq and Syria. Their sendoff ceremony was Friday in Eden Prairie. The soldiers will be in Fort Hood, Texas, for a short amount of time before they head overseas.

Senate Republicans Unveil Insulin Affordability Plan
Senate Republican leaders have unveiled their new insulin availability plan. Under the plan, insulin manufacturers would provide free insulin to Minnesotans with income less than 400% of the federal poverty level. Patients would be able to apply for the program through their doctor’s office. Senate Republicans say the new plan would require significant financial investment by pharmaceutical companies. Senator Eric Pratt, who is the author of the bill, said the program could start on Jan. 1. That means a special session would need to take place sometime this fall.

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University of Minnesota’s New President Inaugurated
The University of Minnesota officially inaugurated its new president this past week. Joan Gabel is the first woman to hold the title. She was officially welcomed into office on Friday, with Governor Tim Walz handing her the official mace of the university. Gabel said she is focused on creating a community that is inclusive and celebrates the diversity and dignity of both people and ideas.

Fort Snelling State Park Back Open to the Public
For the first time in six months, Fort Snelling State park is now open to visitors. The park was closed down in early march after spring flooding caused extensive damage to trails, roads and a water main. The assistant park manager said fixing roads, trails and a water main cost about $170,000. Park officials said people immediately started visiting the park on Tuesday after it opened back up.

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Mitra Zolfaghari

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