While the Trump administration turned down a request to help rebuild the Twin Cities after the riots sparked by the police killing of George Floyd, Minnesota House Democrats are pressing for nearly $168 million in state dollars to help businesses and nonprofits damaged during the civil unrest.
But so far the GOP-led Senate hasn’t matched that effort in a special session that’s expected to wrap up in a few days.
Democrats and Republicans said during a committee hearing Friday they want to help communities where property was destroyed. But Rep. Barb Haley, R-Red Wing, said Republicans are concerned about using general fund dollars while there’s a looming budget deficit. They also want grants to go directly to businesses, as opposed to giving the money to Minneapolis and St. Paul, she said.
The immediate relief program the DFL-led House wants is one piece of a broader $300 million PROMISE Act aimed at rebuilding the Twin Cities’ riot-damaged commercial corridors.
Rep. Mohamud Noor, DFL-Minneapolis, said he is glad community members and foundations are donating to help businesses rebuild, but more assistance is crucial.
He plans to keep fighting for state money in future sessions — whether through the general fund or other sources: “We’re going to come back again and again until we get something done.”