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Walz requests federal disaster relief declaration for Minnesota

Gov. Tim Walz
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Gov. Tim Walz delivering his 2020 State of the State Address from the Governor's Residence on Summit Avenue in St. Paul.

In the Pioneer Press, Mara H. Gottfried writes: “Gov. Tim Walz requested on Sunday federal coronavirus disaster relief for Minnesota. The letter to President Donald Trump seeks a major disaster declaration and funding to support crisis counseling, supplemental nutrition programs, medical assistance, funeral assistance, legal services and statewide hazard mitigation.

MPR’s Brian Bakst writes: “Minnesota’s finance agency is bracing for a steep drop in tax revenues, increases in state expenses and an overall budget shortfall. The fiscal chaos stirred by the coronavirus is so worrisome that a new economic forecast will be ordered to get a better handle on the problem and clear the use of the state’s rainy day reserves. It’s a stunning reversal from late February, when officials forecast a projected surplus of $1.5 billion that would pile up by July 2021.

For the Star Tribune, Mike Hughlett writes: “As Enbridge nears its goal of building a controversial $2.6 billion pipeline across northern Minnesota, Canada’s oil industry is imploding. … The Canadian oil crisis opens the door for a last-ditch effort by Line 3 opponents to persuade the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to rethink its approval of the $2.6 billion project.

For BringMeTheNews Joe Nelson reports, “Based on the declining death toll estimates from a national COVID-19 model, Minnesotans are excelling at social distancing.  The model, from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington’s School of Medicine, has gradually lowered the number of deaths estimated for Minnesota – attributable to the novel coronavirus – over the next four months. What was an original projection March 26 of more than 1,800 deaths in Minnesota, the latest model simulation from April 1 estimates that 932 people will die from COVID-19 in the first wave of the pandemic by Aug. 4, with a range of 480 to 1,557 deaths.”

In the Pioneer Press, Betsy Helfand writes, “A look through traffic data paints a picture of a state adhering to Gov. Tim Walz’s stay-at-home order as the number of cars on the road has sharply decreased over the past month with people staying indoors and working from home. Data from the Minnesota Department of Transportation show traffic volumes on Tuesday were down nearly 40 percent compared with Tuesday averages from last March, and this Tuesday was down 10 percent from the Tuesday prior.”

Says a WCCO-TV story, “As the weather gets warmer, Minnesota’s favorite summer activities are on the line due to COVID-19 concerns. But the Minneapolis Aquatennial, the civic celebration of the city of Minneapolis, is still scheduled to happen. The event, scheduled for July 22 to July 25, ‘is moving forward as planned,’ said Leah Wong, Vice President of External Relations for the Minneapolis Downtown Council.”

Also in the Star Tribune, this from Tim Harlow, “With Driver and Vehicle Services (DVS) offices closed at least through Friday because of the coronavirus pandemic … readers are concerned they can’t renew their licenses and won’t be able to legally drive. … Gov. Tim Walz on March 28 signed a bill that grants an extension for Minnesotans whose driver’s licenses or ID cards expire during the stay-at-home order. The law says any expiring driver’s license, instruction permit, provisional license, operator permit, limited license, or farm-work license will remain valid for two months after the peacetime emergency ends.”

Comments (2)

  1. Submitted by richard owens on 04/06/2020 - 10:46 am.

    Thanks Tim Walz for your efforts and your clarity in the face of the epidemic.

    Your term as governor has even shown you to be a better governor than you were 1st District rep. (IMHO)

    So far, I’d say you’re a natural at being MN governor in a crisis.

  2. Submitted by kay smith on 04/06/2020 - 02:55 pm.

    Gov Walz is a model of how an official holds a presser. I wonder if trump has everyone tested before they all use the same mic.

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