The Minnesota House and Senate have unveiled separate plans on how the state should distribute its share of the federal CARES Act funds to local governments.

Under the CARES Act, some funds will be given directly to all local governments across the country with populations greater than 500,000. The only local governments that large in Minnesota are Hennepin and Ramsey counties, who were allocated a total of $317 million. Minnesota received an additional $1.8 billion in federal funds, with the suggestion that 45% of that money be sent to local governments across the state, including counties, cities and townships.

The Senate Plan

On May 9, the Senate introduced SF 4564 (authored by Sen. Julie Rosen, R-Vernon Center), which is designed to provide equity across the state in its distributions to local governments for coronavirus-related spending. It provides a total of $667 million to counties, cities and towns outside of Hennepin and Ramsey counties. The bill provides $25 per capita to towns (a $2,500 minimum distribution) and $87 per capita to cities ($5,000 minimum distribution). Counties would receive the remaining funding with a per capita distribution of $174.49 minus the distributions to their cities and towns.

Here are runs showing what each county, city and township would receive under the Senate plan:

The House Plan

HF 4673 (authored by Rep. Paul Marquart, DFL-Dilworth), which was introduced May 13, has a different method. Under the House proposal, $667 million would be split between all counties (except Hennepin and Ramsey) and all cities and towns with a population greater than 500. The bill provides $255 million total to cities and towns, with cities receiving $51.57 per capita and towns receiving $25 per capita. This leaves $311 million for counties (excluding Hennepin and Ramsey). The House plan also sets aside $100 million for a grant program for which local governments will be required to apply to cover additional or extraordinary expenses.

Here are runs showing what each county, city and township would receive under the Senate plan:

What’s Next

On Monday, the Senate Finance Committee advanced SF 4564 on a party-line. It now awaits action by the full Senate. On the House side, HF 4673 will be up for discussion in the House Ways and Means committee on Thursday morning.  

The CGMC will continue to watch both bills closely and advocate on behalf of our cities for a fair distribution of funds.