ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO/AP) — The Minnesota Senate voted 64-0 Monday to earmark $21 million to reinforce the state’s response to the coronavirus outbreak, while the House was poised to follow suit quickly so that the bill reaches Gov. Tim Walz’s desk this week.
The measure sailed through the Minnesota Senate in an overwhelming show of unity and bipartisanship.
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Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka urged Minnesotans to keep the threat in perspective.
“We need to take it serious, we also need to remain calm,” Gazelka said. “We have a plan in place in Minnesota.
House Speaker Melissa Hortman stressed that leaders of both parties are onboard and a unified front is the only way to do battle.
“We have been in consultation all weekend with the Minnesota Department of Health to determine exactly the language they need to provide maximum flexibility and speed to respond,” Hortman said.
Governor Tim Walz also stressed that leaders are working together on this.
“They are working in a totally non-partisan manner,” Walz explained.
The governor refrained from criticizing the Trump administration. Critics have blasted the President’s mixed messaging and handling of resources, including the supply of tests.
“At this point in time we have enough tests but that needs to ramp up,” Walz said. “It is not excusable if we get to the point where we can’t test everyone we need to.”
The governor and House and Senate leaders also agree that they may have to come back and approve more funds to fight Covid-19, it all depends how far that first $21 million goes and how large an outbreak there is in Minnesota.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)