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MN Senate approves compromise bill for COVID-19 relief funds

According to a press release, funds will be distributed to counties, cities, and towns based on a formula using their population.
Credit: Gordon Severson

ST PAUL, Minn. — The Minnesota Senate approved a compromise bill to help distribute federal COVID-19 assistance provided to help local governments.

According to a press release, the compromise agreement distributes the local government portion of that funding – about $841 million – to Minnesota counties, cities, and towns based on a formula using their population. Gov. Tim Walz will still need to sign the bill for it to go into effect.

“This is a tremendous bill that will send important COVID assistance out to communities throughout Minnesota in a fair, equitable way,” Senate Finance Chair Julie Rosen (R-Vernon Center), who authored the bill, said in the release. “I am incredibly proud of the work we did in the Senate creating this bipartisan bill, and I am humbled by the overwhelming support it received when we voted for it. 

"The Constitution is very clear that it is the legislature’s job to appropriate money, not the governor’s – this is true regardless of who sits in the big chair. I sincerely hope Gov. Walz appreciates that important separation and signs this bill so that we can get this assistance out the door as quickly as possible.”

The release says the state received more than $2 billion from the federal government to help local governments, health professionals, and businesses during the pandemic. That money went into an account called the Federal Coronavirus Relief Fund, so it could be quickly deployed to places it is needed most.

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The state of Minnesota has set up a hotline for general questions about coronavirus at 651-201-3920 or 1-800-657-3903, available 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. There is also a data portal online at mn.gov/covid19.

The state of Minnesota has set up a hotline for general questions about coronavirus at 651-201-3920 or 1-800-657-3903, available 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.