Minnesota has spent the bulk of state dollars it allocated for responding to COVID-19 but still has a large portion of federal aid left.
The state has drawn from two main sources of cash to respond to the coronavirus. In March, legislators created a $200 million COVID-19 Minnesota Fund to protect people from the outbreak and maintain government operations. About $9.1 million remains in the fund.
The state has used the money for a range of needs, from medical equipment such as face masks and gowns to its most recent expenditure — $6 million to continue operations at the Minnesota Zoo.
Minnesota is also relying on federal aid. The state received nearly $1.9 billion from the federal Coronavirus Relief Fund, as well as getting more targeted grants. About $700 million of the relief fund dollars remain, Minnesota Management and Budget (MMB) spokesman Chris Kelly said Friday.
State officials are focused on using the federal aid before the deadline on Dec. 30. But they haven’t ruled out the eventual need for more state spending.
“Our primary focus is allocating the federal Coronavirus Relief Funds in the most equitable and effective manner possible. We will continue to monitor the changing path of this global pandemic to determine if we need additional state dollars,” MMB Commissioner Myron Frans said in a statement.