Governor Tim Walz is warning if the federal government shutdown continues, rent subsidies and food assistance for low-income Minnesotans — plus other programs — will be affected later next month, unless the state steps in to plug the gap. Walz says, “We’re starting to get a clearer picture now of what will happen as we’re getting closer to it. That picture is bleak. It is cruel. It will cause real pain and real disruption to many, many Minnesotans.” Walz says federal money is “about a billion dollars a month that comes to us, and how much of those are disrupted and how they interact with one another isn’t quite certain.”
The governor says he does not yet have a rough estimate of what it might cost for the state to temporarily close the federal funding gap — but Walz says it will be “fairly substantial” and the decision point is about February 15th. Officials are trying to determine if the federal government would reimburse the state for any money it kicks in.