$853M in federal COVID-19 relief to be distributed across Minnesota

More than $850 million of federal COVID-19 funding will be distributed across Minnesota under a plan announced Thursday by Governor Tim Walz and Lt. Governor Peggy Flanagan.

Under the plan, $841 million will be allocated across counties, cities and towns to support local government coronavirus relief efforts. This includes grants to businesses, hospitals and people impacted by the pandemic. Also, $12 million will go toward food shelves and food banks across the state. The funding comes from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

“As we work to support the health and safety of all Minnesotans during the COVID-19 pandemic, we are also taking steps to build a stronger and more equitable economy,” said Governor Walz in a statement. “This funding will bring much-needed relief to communities across the state as we continue to battle this pandemic together.”

The Minnesota Department of Revenue will be in charge of distributing the $841 million to the local governments. Relief amounts will follow a formula that was developed by the Legislature during the special session, but failed to pass.

  • Counties with population under 500,000:                 $121.28 x county population
  • Cities with population over 200:                                $75.34 x city population
  • Organized towns with population over 5,000:           $75.34 x organized town population
  • Towns with population over 200 and under 4,999:   $25.00 x town population

Cities or towns with a population of less than 200 will have their funding sent to their county: 

  • Cities with population under 200:                              $75.34 x city population
  • Organized towns with population under 200:           $25.00 x town population

Before receiving the relief money, local governments need to certify their intent to follow the federal guidelines on how to use the funds. 

Walz submitted the proposal Thursday to the Legislative Advisory Commission for review. Once approved, the Department of Revenue will begin distributing funds on a rolling basis starting the week of June 29. Any unused funds will have to be returned to the state by December 10.