BREAKING NEWS Many Minnesota COVID restrictions to conclude by end of May Full Story

MN Governor asking Congressional leaders for for COVID aid

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz - AP image

'The current situation is simply untenable," says Tim Walz.

Posted: Nov 19, 2020 12:43 PM

ST. PAUL, Minn. – Governor Tim Walz is pleading with leaders of Congress for more COVID assistance.

Walz has sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer requesting they act quickly to approve new federal spending for workers, families, businesses, and states.

“The current situation is simply untenable,” said Governor Walz after sending the letter. “As the virus surges and demands pauses on our economy, we need federal support to ensure Minnesotans can make ends meet. We need Congress to act immediately to help keep our businesses afloat, our workers paid, and our families with food on the table. I will continue to fight with every fiber of my being for that support that you need and deserve.”

The text of Walz’ letter is below:

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
Speaker of the House

The Honorable Kevin McCarthy
House Minority Leader

The Honorable Mitch McConnell
Senate Majority Leader

The Honorable Chuck Schumer
Senate Minority Leader

Dear Congressional Leaders,

Thank you for providing resources and assistance related to the COVID-19 response this spring. As I mentioned in my letter to you dated July 31, 2020, states have led in the pandemic response and the resources we received from the federal government have been critical.

In recent days and weeks, COVID-19 has continued to take a toll in Minnesota and across the country as case counts increase exponentially. In Minnesota, it took seven months to reach the first 100,000 COVID-19 positive cases, but it has taken just seven weeks to reach 200,000. To date, we have lost the lives of nearly 3,000 Minnesotans. Across the country, this exponential growth has required states to revert back to similar restrictions imposed in March and April to protect lives and public health, mitigate medical staffing shortages in long-term care facilities and other settings, and prevent our hospitals from becoming overwhelmed. In the spring, Congress provided critical assistance for workers, families, businesses, and states as the virus began to spread. Now, as states navigate unprecedented growth in cases, we are in desperate need of additional, flexible funding from the federal government to keep as many people as safe and healthy as possible in the pandemic response, and to help weather budgetary impacts due to the virus.

As I mentioned in my July letter, more support for states to help in leading the pandemic response is critical. Many of the funds provided to state and local governments must be used by December 30, and yet we know the virus is not going away by the end of the year. To the contrary, at the rate of increase we are seeing in the current surge, it is going to get much worse before it gets better. And yet states will be left with no additional federal resources to combat the rising tide of infections, unemployment, and human services needs that will continue long after the funds from the CARES Act expire.

To date, Minnesota has used CARES Act funding wisely, including to create a robust testing program that is free, accessible to all, and yields quick results; these operations will be key to keep people safe and healthy, and keep the economy going. We have also used our CARES Act funds to procure Personal Protective Equipment, support childcare providers, small businesses, and our education system. Further, economic assistance from the federal government has been critical for workers, families, and small businesses to stay afloat, whether through supplementing state unemployment insurance programs, or through the Paycheck Protection Program which helped thousands of small businesses subsist through the early months of the pandemic.

More federal funding for all of these priorities is badly needed. And needed soon.

Additional, flexible funding is also critical for Minnesota to be able to weather this economic storm. For years, Minnesota’s fiscal house has been in good order. After volatile financial times during the 2000s, Minnesota went from budget deficits to budget surpluses, and we invested in our budget reserves and rainy-day funds to the highest levels ever recorded. We have a AAA bond rating, and even as recently as our 2020 February Budget Forecast, we had a projected budget surplus of $1.5 billion. But in a matter of weeks, we saw that surplus turn into a $2.3 billion projected deficit for fiscal year (FY) 2021, and a $4.7 billion shortfall in FY 22-23.

Across the country, COVID-19 has impacted every sector of our economy and every facet of normal daily life. The ramifications of COVID-19 will undoubtedly have lasting impacts as we await further treatments and a vaccine. At the same time, the pandemic has reached its most urgent and dire state yet, and the critical need for additional federal funding at this juncture to help states mitigate the impacts of the economic downturn and continue to respond to the pandemic cannot be overstated. I am grateful that the United States House of Representatives has taken steps toward providing much needed relief to states by passing the HEROES Act. I urge your quick collective action to provide significant, new, and flexible funding for states in an additional COVID relief package, as well as a renewed commitment to maintaining a strong Unemployment Insurance safety net by extending the fiscal supports passed in March and protections for small businesses, so that we can continue to provide needed support to our residents and address budgetary challenges caused by the virus.

Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

Tim Walz
Governor

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 582576

Reported Deaths: 7284
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1208311715
Ramsey50357867
Dakota45046442
Anoka40774432
Washington26338278
Stearns21901220
St. Louis17502302
Scott16980124
Wright15722135
Olmsted1309797
Sherburne1139484
Carver1031645
Clay807492
Rice7952106
Blue Earth739241
Crow Wing651888
Kandiyohi647282
Chisago581051
Otter Tail567578
Benton560197
Goodhue470872
Mower460332
Douglas459574
Winona448450
Itasca417953
McLeod417258
Morrison413660
Isanti408262
Nobles406748
Beltrami387358
Steele381015
Polk379567
Becker375449
Lyon357650
Carlton340353
Freeborn339529
Pine323521
Nicollet320943
Brown303040
Mille Lacs297152
Le Sueur285322
Todd277431
Cass265528
Meeker250140
Waseca235721
Martin227731
Roseau205019
Wabasha20313
Hubbard183341
Dodge18133
Renville178043
Redwood170836
Houston169215
Cottonwood162721
Fillmore153810
Pennington153319
Wadena152321
Chippewa151338
Faribault149919
Kanabec142424
Sibley140910
Aitkin133136
Watonwan13009
Rock127219
Jackson121211
Pipestone113826
Yellow Medicine113520
Pope10806
Murray10559
Swift103918
Stevens88511
Marshall87417
Clearwater85716
Koochiching81314
Lake80619
Wilkin79812
Lac qui Parle74922
Big Stone5934
Lincoln5733
Grant5648
Mahnomen5408
Norman5379
Unassigned48893
Kittson48122
Red Lake3957
Traverse3685
Lake of the Woods3183
Cook1560

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 364579

Reported Deaths: 5902
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk57228619
Linn20701333
Scott19754239
Black Hawk15746307
Woodbury15087228
Johnson1439083
Dubuque13322209
Dallas1109597
Pottawattamie11036166
Story1054248
Warren572988
Clinton551692
Cerro Gordo535689
Sioux512474
Webster510892
Marshall480875
Muscatine473899
Des Moines451466
Wapello4283122
Buena Vista424140
Jasper413070
Plymouth400179
Lee372355
Marion360075
Jones296857
Henry290437
Carroll284752
Bremer282460
Crawford264340
Boone262334
Benton254955
Washington253050
Dickinson247343
Mahaska229250
Jackson220742
Clay214725
Kossuth214764
Tama208871
Delaware208040
Winneshiek196433
Page192121
Buchanan190431
Cedar188823
Fayette184441
Hardin184443
Wright183336
Hamilton179249
Harrison179173
Clayton168756
Butler163834
Mills161321
Madison160319
Floyd159542
Cherokee158338
Lyon157541
Poweshiek154633
Allamakee150351
Iowa147924
Hancock146434
Winnebago140831
Cass137654
Grundy135932
Calhoun135813
Emmet133740
Jefferson132135
Shelby130537
Sac130019
Appanoose128047
Louisa127849
Union127632
Mitchell125642
Chickasaw123615
Guthrie120729
Humboldt118726
Franklin116421
Palo Alto112123
Howard104122
Montgomery102737
Unassigned10070
Clarke99624
Keokuk95331
Monroe95028
Ida90334
Adair86232
Pocahontas85422
Monona82830
Davis81324
Osceola77916
Greene77610
Lucas76823
Worth7348
Taylor65612
Fremont6219
Decatur6059
Van Buren55618
Ringgold54524
Wayne53223
Audubon5069
Adams3374
Rochester
Partly Cloudy
52° wxIcon
Hi: 57° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 52°
Mason City
Partly Cloudy
54° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 54°
Albert Lea
Partly Cloudy
52° wxIcon
Hi: 59° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 52°
Austin
Partly Cloudy
54° wxIcon
Hi: 59° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 54°
Charles City
Partly Cloudy
° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: °
More sunshine Thursday.
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Community Events