American Rescue Plan Sending Billions To MN

The $1.9 trillion stimulus will send billions to Minnesota in direct payments to families, child care assistance and aid to state and local governments, reports Caroline Cummings (2:10). WCCO 4 News At 5 - March 15, 2021

Video Transcript

- The $1.9 trillion stimulus will send billions to Minnesota in direct payments to families, child care assistance, and aid to state and local governments. But the bill also earmarks billions for testing and vaccinations. WCCO's Caroline Cummings explains how state officials say the new federal money will help Minnesota.

- There is a lighthouse in front of us that's blinking good things for our country.

CAROLINE CUMMINGS: A light at the end of the tunnel of this pandemic, illuminated by an uptick in vaccinations, which are absolutely critical, public health experts say, to truly move on to a post-COVID world. Senators Amy Klobuchar, Tina Smith, and others in the congressional delegation joined Governor Tim Walz on Monday to tout the $1.9 trillion stimulus plan they say will bring the aid needed to make it happen.

PEGGY FLANAGAN: Resources to supercharge Minnesota's vaccine response.

CAROLINE CUMMINGS: Money for vaccines to the tune of $7.5 billion for each state. Senator Tina Smith says it's part of an effort to ensure everyone who wants a vaccine, regardless of insurance, can get one.

AMY KLOBUCHAR: This vaccine isn't going to suddenly parachute in the middle of Hastings. And we've got to have the distribution system ramped up more and more and more with each week. So that is the heart of this bill.

CAROLINE CUMMINGS: Health commissioner Jan Malcolm says the federal funds will help the state open sites like the community vaccination website at Mall of America and distribute vaccines to local pharmacies. She also says it will help with mobile vaccine clinics designed for harder to reach communities.

JAN MALCOLM: This is one of the most complex operations in public health in our history. And we can't do it without the support, the people, and the infrastructure to get the vaccines administered. So this is going to just accelerate our recovery from this pandemic.

CAROLINE CUMMINGS: That $7.5 billion for vaccine efforts comes on top of more targeted programs, including state and local government aid. And right now, more than 20% of Minnesotans have at least one shot. Caroline Cummings, WCCO 4 News.

- Governor Tim Walz says at the current pace, any Minnesota adult who wants a vaccine should be able to get one by June.