Disaster response funding increased after Gov. Walz signs assistance bill

While several communities are already preparing for the impact of spring flooding throughout Minnesota, Gov. Tim Walz signed a bill into law Monday that will increase the state’s emergency management and disaster assistance response through additional funding.

Passed by the Minnesota Legislature earlier in the session, H.F. 1278 provides $40 million in fiscal year 2023 to replenish the state’s Disaster Assistance Contingency Account. The funds will be used to respond to natural disasters declared by the federal or state government and can be deployed quickly without legislative action.

"While we hope disaster doesn’t strike, we know hope is not a plan. Whether it’s flooding, tornados, or snowstorms, this bill ensures Minnesota is ready to support recovery efforts in local communities across the state," said Gov. Walz Dina statement. "As communities brace for the crest of spring floods, I am grateful to the legislature for recognizing the urgency of these funds."

Gov. Walz signed the bill alongside bill authors Senator Aric Putnam and Representative Gene Pelowski, Minnesota Department of Public Safety Commissioner Bob Jacobson, Homeland Security and Emergency Management Interim Director Kevin Reed, and Stillwater Mayor Ted Kozlowski.

In Stillwater, the St. Croix River has risen more than 6 feet since Friday, flooding parks and restaurant patios throughout the community.

Flooding has also already been a problem on the North Shore, closing the iconic swinging bridge in the Jay Cook State Park.