Eight days after Governor Tim Walz submitted a request for financial support, the request was categorically denied. Walz submitted a letter to President Trump asking for assistance with the more than $500 million in damages caused by “peaceful protesters”.
Only $15 million of the damages qualified for federal reimbursement. The Federal Emergency Management Agency concluded that the damage was local, caused by the negligence of local government authorities.
Hundreds of establishments were looted and destroyed by Geroge Floyd protests, primarily in the Minneapolis and St. Paul areas.
Governor Tim Walz spokesperson Teddy Tschann said,
The governor is disappointed that the federal government declined his request for financial support from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to help Minnesota rebuild after civil unrest damaged public infrastructure and caused extensive fire damage in the wake of George Floyd’s death,”
The state of Minnesota has already been experiencing financial hardship due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Their $1.5 billion in surplus funds was completely wiped out by a massive revenue shortfall of $2.4 billion.
In a statement provided to MPR News on Saturday, a FEMA spokesperson said:
“After a thorough review of Minnesota’s request for a major disaster declaration from extensive fire damage as a result of civil unrest in late May and early June, it was determined that the impact to public infrastructure is within the capabilities of the local and state governments to recover from. The governor has 30 days to appeal that decision.”
Representative Jeff Duncan Tweets, “Great news! @realDonaldTrump has DENIED Minnesota’s disaster request to repair half a billion dollars in damage from the riots. Governors and Mayors who ordered police to stand down and watch their cities burn shouldn’t get a penny in taxpayer aid!”
It should come as no surprise to Minnesota that federal aid was denied. Monica Davies (citizen) tweeted, “Now, we in MN need to resist the imposition of new taxes to compensate for the failures by Walz and Frey that led to these damages. They literally let the city burn.”
The real disaster is that Minnesota leadership let this happen. There’s no federal aid provision for civil unrest that was “allowed to happen”.