The emergency budget forecast — based on skimpy data and educated guesses on what the fallout from COVID-19 is doing to state finances — was released Tuesday by Minnesota’s office of Management and Budget and projects a $2.42 billion shortfall.
The Minnesota Department of Health also reported another 617 confirmed cases of COVID-19, for a total of 7,851 in the state.
What the end — at least when it comes to this year’s session of the Minnesota Legislature — looks like.
Of the 28 deaths reported Friday, 24 were residents of long-term care. So far, 80 percent of those who have died of COVID-19 in Minnesota were living in long-term care.
A confrontation between Republicans and DFLers at the Minnesota Legislature over contracts for almost 47,000 state workers not only puts a scheduled July 1 raise at risk, it could lead to pay cuts for affected employees.
While most of the limits on public life will remain, the governor said nonessential retail businesses can start offering curbside pickup and delivery services for customers.
Those who run some of Minnesota’s largest job-training nonprofits are urging the state to invest in programs to help those who had already been on the margins of the economy. If it doesn’t, they warn, Minnesota could face even worse joblessness among people who can least afford it.
MDH said Wednesday there have been 4,644 total confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Minnesota, up 463 from Tuesday.
U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson, a Democrat from Minnesota’s 7th Congressional District who chairs the House’s Agriculture Committee, said a task force that includes plant management and union representatives will convene to decide how best to restart operation.
Top DFL officials worry the call for a rent strike will endanger the ability to win a significant rental assistance package from the Legislature.
MDH Commissioner Jan Malcolm said Trump’s order appeared “problematic to say the least” as Minnesota is still experiencing an “explosive” increase in cases among workers at pork processing facilities that have shut down because of COVID-19 outbreaks.
The industry’s best hope may come from the federal government. Specifically, an ambitious, longshot proposal by U.S. Sens. Tina Smith of Minnesota and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts: to make $50 billion in grants available through Congress’ next coronavirus response package.
A bipartisan agreement on an elections bill allocating federal coronavirus response money was derailed when House DFLers moved to create a separate measure that would move Minnesota to all vote-by-mail this year.
The 28 deaths announced Sunday represents the highest number recorded in one day so far in Minnesota — and the sixth day in a row the state has either matched or set new highs.
The state also has 172 long-term care facilities with at least one known case of COVID-19 among staff or residents.
The sticking points: the amount of help — and how and when to end the state’s eviction moratorium.
As part of the initiative, the Minnesota Department of Health, the Mayo Clinic and the University of Minnesota will substantially increase the availability of both molecular tests, which identify current COVID-19 infections, and serology tests, which identify those who’ve been infected in the past.
The Minnesota Department of Health also said Wednesday there have been 2,721 total confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Minnesota, up 154 from Tuesday’s count.
Because the money is being sent out in so many different chunks — and with varying degrees of guidance — those charged with spending and accounting for it aren’t exactly sure how it will help.
Most of the deaths were among residents of Hennepin County and elderly people living in long-term care.