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State fails to pass along CARES funding

The federal government this year passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, also known as the CARES Act. It is the legislation that put more money into the pockets of furloughed workers and included the $1,200 checks sent out to individuals. The act also included federal dollars sent to states and local governments. All intended to help people and governments weather the economic effects of the pandemic.

Local governments in Minnesota are eligible to receive $841 million. For a county like Martin, this translates to $2.44 million, a significant sum to which the county is entitled, according to the feds, and which would do much good. Has the county received the money? No. Should it have? Yes.

Minnesota lawmakers and Gov. Tim Walz last week failed to take the simple action to pass along to local governments the money that is rightfully theirs. Why? Democrats in the Minnesota House of Representatives tried to use the funds as leverage, to get more state funding for things they wanted. Republicans in the state Senate just wanted to pass along the funds. The Senate is facing some heat for failing to stick around to “negotiate” a resolution to the standoff. But what’s to negotiate? The state should do what is right and send along the money to counties, cities and townships. The sooner the better.

Lawmakers will meet again next month to resume the debate. We hope they get it right this time.

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