Updated: July 01, 2020 02:16 PM
Created: July 01, 2020 01:00 PM
A panel of Minnesota legislators on Tuesday approved a $6 million bailout for the Minnesota Zoo.
The zoo, which was forced to shut down during the coronavirus pandemic, made a plea to the Legislature for assistance after it projected a $15 million loss over two years. The bailout funds would cover 40% of those losses.
According to a request submitted by Minnesota Management and Budget Commissioner Myron Frans, the bailout funds will come from the COVID-19 Minnesota Fund, which was created by the Legislature to sustain state operations during Gov. Tim Walz's peacetime emergency.
Any requests of $1 million or more require the approval of the bipartisan panel of 10 legislators, which includes leadership from both the House and Senate.
As a state agency, the zoo receives about one-third of its budget from state appropriations, and the rest comes from contributions and earned revenue, according to a zoo spokesperson.
The zoo partially reopened in June with the introduction of Beastly Boulevard, a drive-thru experience that allowed visitors to see part of the zoo while socially distancing inside their vehicles.
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