Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz is ready to sign a $330 million bipartisan spending package to help his state respond to the new coronavirus pandemic.
Money in the bill is intended to help the state’s economy and citizens deal with the spread of the virus, including providing qualified Minnesotans with unemployment insurance, emergency child care grants, veterans’ assistance, food, housing support, and small business loans. The bill also would provide money to buy medical equipment for hospitals.
The state House on Thursday voted 99 to 4 and the state Senate voted 67 to 0 to approve the measure. Walz spokesman Teddy Tschann said in an email that the governor, a Democrat, would sign the bill.
State lawmakers introduced, debated, and voted on the bill in a one-day special session, taking care to enter their chambers in small groups to cast votes after following the floor action on televisions.
The bill is the state’s second coronavirus measure; Walz signed into law March 9 legislation that transferred $20.9 million to state agencies to confront the virus.
State Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka (R) said Thursday that the legislature probably would consider additional legislation later this year to deal with the economic fallout from the pandemic.