Senate Republicans attempt to restrict federal pandemic relief funds

A bill passed the Senate this week to require federal funding received by Minnesota for pandemic relief to be directly appropriated by the Legislature before it can be spent by state agencies. This would allow Senate Republicans to withhold federal funding instead of allowing the state health department and other agencies to swiftly expend funds for vaccine distribution, the purchase of personal protective equipment, or other activities to combat the pandemic.

Now is not the time to impede the expenditure of funds, while the federal government seeks to ramp up production of COVID vaccines and is in the midst of providing support to Minnesota to efficiently distribute it. Minnesota, the nation, and the world are still experiencing an unprecedented crisis that threatens our health and safety; we should be working toward bipartisan solutions instead of partisan power grabs. (S.F. 8)