ST. PAUL — Gov. Tim Walz on Tuesday, June 28, announced a plan to spend just under $40 million in federal COVID-19 relief funds to bolster public safety, mental health and health needs. statewide child care.
After negotiations for a special legislative session to pass $8 billion in tax relief and new spending stalled last week, Walz said he would use the remaining U.S. bailout dollars to boost funding. law enforcement, the Department of Corrections and other groups. who demanded dollars from the state.
The new funding is lower than what Walz proposed in his supplementary budget proposal earlier this year, but increases spending on some of his priority items. Lawmakers on the COVID-19 Response Legislative Commission will need to greenlight the plan before it can go into effect.
“We put that money into programs specifically focused on gun violence prevention, public safety … some of the things I wish the Legislative Assembly could do and didn’t,” said Walz to reporters at the Capitol.
Under the proposal, Minnesota State Patrol and Department of Natural Resources officers could see an additional $4 million to fill budget gaps, nearly $5 million would help the Department of Corrections address shortages more staff and $7 million would go to opening up additional spaces in the Child Care Assistance Program.
The governor’s office also offered to launch a campaign to help Minnesotans learn how to safely store firearms and provide free cable gun locks at community events.
School mental health programs could also see a $7 million increase under the plan and food banks, food shelves and other nutritional support programs could receive an additional $5 million.
District and charter schools in Minnesota would also receive an additional $1.5 million to increase teacher diversity, emergency shelters in Hennepin and Ramsey counties would receive $7.8 million to continue housing people homeless and $1.9 million would be set aside to pay workers’ compensation claims for some states. workers who contracted COVID-19 earlier this year.
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