Senator John Jasinski (R-Faribault) today presented to the Senate Finance Committee a comprehensive package to direct the massive infusion of federal dollars to Minnesota through a series of targeted investments that will get the state moving forward beyond the pandemic.
Notably, the bill includes full funding for the County Road 9/I-35 interchange in Faribault.
“Minnesota continues to receive a massive influx of federal dollars to support communities as we recover from Covid-19,” said Sen. Jasinski. “The constitution empowers the legislature to determine how best to appropriate money for a reason – we know and understand the unique needs of communities across the state better than anyone. The Legislature should be part of the discussion on how to spend federal Covid assistance. We are proposing thoughtful, targeted spending on important priorities like roads and bridges, core infrastructure, small businesses, and education that will the state on a path for growth post-pandemic.”
The bill directs the portion of the American Rescue Plan dollars that were part of the “State Fiscal Relief Fund” and had greater flexibility in how it could be used by the state. The $2.57 billion allocation will provide targeted support to Minnesotans hardest hit by the pandemic and promote economic growth.
- $32 million for the County Road 9/I-35 interchange in Faribault.
- $600 million to restore the Unemployment Trust Fund balance to support workers forced to transition and find new work.
- $1.165 billion to targeted infrastructure projects to boost the economy and build out critical projects across the state like roads, bridges, and water infrastructure.
- $500 million for small business relief grants targeted to hard-hit industries including entertainment venues, event centers, community event organizations, and other small businesses which have not already received funding.
- $100 million to cover special education costs that are currently being paid for with school general education funds. This will help ensure that all student instruction needs – both special and general education – are being met.
- $200 million to enhance the tourism industry in Minnesota, targeting the venues, attractions, and hospitality businesses that were hardest hit by the pandemic.
Minnesota is receiving an additional $5.37 billion dollars directly targeted to local entities, schools, education, low-income utility, and rental assistance, extending pandemic unemployment benefits, public health, and specialized child-care programs.
Senator Jasinski presented the bill on behalf of Senator Zach Duckworth (R-Lakeville), who is on a brief deployment as part of his service in the Minnesota National Guard.
“We’ve all seen how valuable the contributions of our Guard members are,” said Sen. Jasinski. “As a Navy Veteran myself, I wanted to personally thank him and the thousands of other Guard members who have stepped up to help keep their fellow Minnesotans safe. We support his commitment and service to the Senate and to the National Guard in this dual role. While he has been monitoring floor sessions and participating remotely, he was unable to present this bill today. It’s my honor to present this important bill to the finance committee on his behalf.”