Mar 11, 2021 - News
COVID relief bill will send more than $4.8 billion to Minnesota
Illustration of suited hand holding a large bag of money
Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Billions in federal dollars will flow to Minnesota under the $1.9 trillion stimulus package headed to President Biden's desk for a signature.

The big picture: On top of checks of up to $1,400 for many Minnesotans, the package sends more than $4.8 billion to state and local governments.

Why it matters: The infusion of cash will help state and local governments, as well as Minnesotans in need, recover from a rough year. But it will also influence a brewing debate at the state Capitol over taxes and spending.

  • Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka (R-East Gull Lake) renewed calls yesterday for Gov. Tim Walz to drop his proposed tax increases, saying "there is absolutely no reason" to raise revenues given the added cash and a projected surplus.

What they're saying: Walz said the new federal funding "gives us the capacity to really think about transformational change." He cited housing assistance for renters and landlords as a top priority.

  • He plans to "rescore [his] budget on where revenues are needed or not needed" before releasing an updated spending proposal next week.
  • Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said the cash could go to "continuity of core city services." He also anticipates aid for small business recovery, resources for people experiencing homelessness, housing assistance and "building on community safety progress."

By the numbers: About $2.5 billion of Minnesota's allocation will go to the state government and $1.1 billion to counties.

  • Another $595 million is earmarked for cities, including $281 million for Minneapolis, $171 million for St. Paul and $60 million for Duluth.
  • Smaller cities get direct aid, too. See how much your county or city is set to receive here.

Of note: In addition to sending far more cash to Minnesota than previous relief packages, the package gives governments more flexibility on how to spend it, as MinnPost's Peter Callaghan notes.

This story first appeared in the Axios Twin Cities newsletter, designed to help readers get smarter, faster on the most consequential news unfolding in their own backyard.

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