The Minnesota House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee approved a bill to provide more than $600 million in new aid for cities, counties, and townships. The proposal, authored by Rep. Paul Marquart (DFL-Dilworth), is paid for using federal CARES Act resources distributed to states.

“This proposal will help our counties, cities, and townships cover the huge costs of providing essential services due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Rep. Marquart. “This provides the needed funding for the great work our police officers, firefighters, first responders, nurses, and other local heroes are doing every day to save lives and provide a safety net in our communities.”

According to Rep. Marquart, local governments could use the new resources to pay for medical expenses, testing, tracing, and facilitating compliance with COVID-related directives. In addition, funds could also be used to provide workers’ compensation, address homelessness, facilitate the disposal of farm animals, and assist businesses with interruptions due to COVID-19.

A copy of the bill is available here. A video of Rep. Marquart’s presentation of the bill and Q&A is available here. The entire Minnesota House is expected to approve the bill in the coming days. The 2020 legislative session adjourns Monday, May 18, 2020.