Cost for National Guard deployment near $13 million

Guard members secure the area as firefighters continue to douse flames.
Members of the National Guard secure the area as firefighters continue to douse on May 30, 2020, in Minneapolis as protests continued following the police killing of George Floyd on Memorial Day.
Julio Cortez | AP Photo file

Use of the Minnesota National Guard as backup during protests after the police killing of George Floyd came at a cost of about $13 million, a state official said Tuesday.

Thousands of Guard members were mobilized from late May into early June after some demonstrations went from peaceful gatherings to violent encounters with police, damage to property and looting. It was the largest deployment of its kind to respond to a civil disturbance in Minnesota.

Minnesota Management and Budget Commissioner Myron Frans said the Guard will be reimbursed automatically under state law. Most of the expense comes from paying Guard members, but there are charges for vehicles and fuel consumed, according to an invoice.

“Providing lodging and meals and transportation costs,” Frans said. “So, all of the actual costs of the Guard coming together, being transported and the food and supplies go into that submission.”

Frans told top lawmakers in a letter that his agency expects to apply for federal reimbursement, but he’s unsure if that will come through.

The Guard recently requested another $1 million for its role in COVID-19 testing under an executive order from Gov. Tim Walz.

Costs for the State Patrol’s stepped-up role in Minneapolis and St. Paul haven’t been finalized. Those expenses would be covered through Department of Public Safety accounts, but there might be a need for the Legislature to authorize more money for the agency.

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