Walz executive order protects COVID-19 aid from debt collectors

The action drew comment from GOP lawmakers, who have called for an end to Walz's emergency powers.
Publish date:

Gov. Tim Walz issued an executive order Monday exempting COVID-19 relief funds from garnishment.

Executive Order 20-50 prevents emergency aid from federal, state, tribal or local governments from being intercepted by third-party debt collectors during Minnesota’s peacetime emergency.

This includes the recovery rebates from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES), which granted $1,200 to eligible individuals, $2,400 to eligible couples and $500 for eligible dependents.

“These government emergency support funds should go toward their intended purpose – ensuring the health and safety of Minnesotans by allowing them to afford their lives during the COVID-19 pandemic," Walz said.

"These support funds should not be intercepted by third parties or immediately garnished for consumer debt incurred before the COVID-19 pandemic."

The order also notes the federal government took similar action in March by suspending wage garnishment for defaulted federal student loans.

Sign up for our BREAKING NEWS newsletters

Over the weekend, Republican lawmakers called on an end to the governor's peacetime emergency powers, with House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt (R-Crown), threatening to block a major capital investment bill if that doesn’t happen.

Walz's latest Executive Order led to criticism from Rep. Mary Franson (R-Alexandria), who said she proposed a similar bill regarding emergency aid garnishment to the Legislature in April.

“This situation underscores exactly why the governor’s emergency powers should come to an end,” she said.

Next Up

Jeff Gladney

Jeff Gladney's ex-girlfriend files $1 million civil lawsuit

The civil lawsuit accuses Gladney of assaulting the woman for over two hours.

vaccine, covid

St. Paul care home group will mandate COVID vaccines for staff

It comes amid reports of COVID outbreaks at homes where residents are all vaccinated, but staff are not.

Jail handcuffs arrest

Starbuck man charged with uploading, sharing child pornography

The 47-year-old was arrested after a tip from the National Center of Missing and Exploited Children.


Boy, 11, seriously injured after 'fall' that police now suspect was abuse

It was initially reported that the boy slipped and fell.

police lights

Investigation underway after body found during welfare check in Plato

The identity of the deceased has not yet been revealed.

Mayor Brad Wiersum

'Please, please, please get vaccinated,' Minnetonka mayor pleads

This comes as the local state of emergency officially ends.

YouTube - Jeopardy screengrab minneapolis

Can you answer all the Minneapolis questions from this week's 'Jeopardy?'

KARE personalities including Randy Shaver and Rena Sarigianopoulos presented the clues.

Pexels - woman shop mask covid CROP

35 counties, including most of Twin Cities, now COVID hotspots

The CDC recommends everyone wear a mask in public, indoor places in these counties.

covid, coronavirus

CDC document: Delta variant as contagious as chickenpox

Vaccines remain very effective at preventing severe illness from the delta variant, however.

Flickr - smoke McGregor minnesota wildfire July 29 2021 - Lorie Shaull

'Unprecedented': The wildfire smoke isn't going anywhere this weekend

The air quality alert that was supposed to end Friday is now in effect into early next week.

Alexis Saborit

Charges: Woman killed in horrific Shakopee attack was trying to leave suspect

The shocking incident happened at an intersection Wednesday afternoon.


Governor Tim Walz

Walz hits back at Gazelka, aide says he's been 'shockingly absent' during pandemic

Walz has responded to criticism from the Senate Majority Leader.

gov tim walz state of the state screengrab april 4 2019

Coronavirus: Gov. Tim Walz signs 4 more executive orders

One will suspend evictions during the state's peacetime emergency.

Governor Tim Walz

Walz executive order aims to make life easier for teachers during COVID

Education Minnesota calls it "a step in the right direction."

Governor Tim Walz

Judge dismisses lawsuit challenging Gov. Walz's COVID-19 executive orders

The lawsuit claimed Walz abused his powers and damaged businesses.

gov tim walz state of the state screengrab april 4 2019

Gov. Walz signs 3 more coronavirus executive orders

The orders are geared to help protect Minnesotans during the COVID-19 outbreak.


Gov. Tim Walz rescinds five COVID-related executive orders

They relate to unemployment insurance, distance learning, and restrictions on veterans homes.