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Minnesota Legislature

State grant extension due to COVID-19 gets passed by House

Entities that have received a state grant could get an extra 12 months to use the dollars.

Passed 124-8 by the House Friday, HF4500 would allow, on a case-by-case basis, a state grant issued by June 30, 2020 to be certified by Minnesota Management and Budget for two fiscal years beyond the fiscal year the appropriation is scheduled to cancel.

“These are currently funded grants and no new money would be involved,” said Rep. Michael Nelson (DFL-Brooklyn Park), who sponsors the bill that next goes to the Senate. Sen. Mary Kiffmeyer (R-Big Lake) sponsors the bill in that body.

The agreement was worked out by officials from the Department of Administration’s Office of Grants Management, Minnesota Management and Budget, the University of Minnesota and nonprofits.

Nelson said the COVID-19 pandemic has, for example, stopped or limited seasonal research being conducted at the university or services provided by nonprofits, such as employment training or after-school programming.

Current statute provides an opportunity to certify the appropriation for one extra year, thereby the net result of the bill would be a two-year extension.

A report would be due the Legislature by Dec. 31, 2020 that includes a list of requests and whether each was approved.

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