(Learfield News Service/St. Paul, MN) Emergency response and preparedness — for the developing coronavirus pandemic in particular — is the focus of a revised budget proposal Governor Tim Walz unveiled today (Thursday).
The governor wants the state’s “rainy day” fund at full strength in case of economic downturn and wants a large amount of the surplus — 1.2 billion dollars — left uncommitted. He predicts developing needs because of coronavirus: “I don’t think it is probably out of the realm that hospitals will be coming to the legislature in coming days and asking for upwards of a hundred million dollars for COVID responses.”
Because of the rapidly-changing situation Walz is also urging lawmakers to fund emergency needs and a “robust” bonding bill and then end the legislative session early. “This is not the time to posture around issues that we’re not gonna reach consensus around,” he says.