National lawmakers, city officials react to local COVID-19 economic impact

National lawmakers, city officials react to local COVID-19 economic impact

(KEYC) — It’s the last full week at the Minnesota Legislature, with session officially coming to a close next Monday, May 18th.

City officials and national lawmakers spoke to KEYC News Now about the local COVID-19 economic impact.

As the Legislature prepares to adjourn, the state still faces a projected $2.4 billion deficit in the budget.

At the beginning of the session, the state had a projected surplus.

Sen. Tina Smith (DFL - Minnesota) said she’s hoping to give the state a financial boost by negotiating funding to be included in Congress’s next possible COVID-19 package.

“So I’m urging Congress to provide strong financial support to states and also to cities like Mankato and really cities all over the state who also are seeing real budget cuts," she said.

“So as a federal official, we really don’t have any real say or oversight into what goes on in Minnesota’s budget deficit,” said Rep. Jim Hagedorn (R - Minnesota.) “As far as what the state is looking for, I’m sure they and a lot of municipalities are looking for the federal government to help. We want to be fair to everybody, but the federal government’s just expended over $2 trillion, and at some point we have to be mindful.”

Another possible economic impact facing southern Minnesota is that local projects that would acquire state funding from a bonding bill might have to be delayed.

The city of Mankato is working on water mitigation projects to help protect sources of water in the city from erosion.

“The water quality in southern Minnesota has kind of been in the consideration for two years. The water quality and the ravine conditions along the riverbanks are eroding with these unprecedented high waters," said Mankato City Manager Patrick Hentges.

House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt (R - Crown) wrote in a release on the House website that Republicans intend to block a bonding bill while the governor’s COVID-19 emergency powers remain in effect.

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