Minnesota Governor Tim Walz recently announced he would distribute the full $841 million in federal CARES Act funding to local entities. The distribution is according to the approved compromise legislation the Senate and House agreed to in the special session.

“We worked together to come to a compromise in the legislature, and it’s good to see the governor following the lead of Senate Republicans and the legislature to fairly distribute these funds,” said District 16 Sen. Gary Dahms of Redwood Falls, who serves as chair of the Senate commerce and consumer protection finance and policy committee. “These are dollars our local communities need to address the growing financial burden from the costs of fighting COVID, along with lost revenue due to COVID. I’m very happy the funds are finally going to be fairly distributed to where they are needed.”

The compromise agreement distributed the local government funding fairly to Minnesota counties, cities and towns based on a formula using their populations.

The Senate passed the agreed-upon legislation with nearly unanimous support during the special session.

The legislation brought transparency and fairness to the distribution since the federal funds were not subject to legislative approval and could be spent unilaterally by Walz.

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