ST. PAUL — State government and business officials aren't sure how or if the stimulus measures outlined in President Donald Trump's new executive orders will alleviate the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic in Minnesota.

Legal questions abound over the order's enforceability because of constitutional limits on presidential spending power. And governors and other officials have expressed doubts about whether they will be able to afford a new matching requirement included in the order's extension of enhanced federal unemployment insurance entitlements.

Trump signed the executive orders Sunday, Aug 9., after a protracted debate in Congress to pass relief measures through legislation. Republican and Democratic lawmakers ultimately could not come to an agreement on a stimulus package, with enhanced entitlements and additional funding for cities and states making up their most notable sticking points. That prompted the White House to respond with a rescue effort of its own.

Trump has called for the additional $600-a-week unemployment enhancement to be replaced with one for $400, a quarter of which would come from a state matching requirement. How realistic the matching requirement is for Minnesota — which depleted its unemployment trust fund earlier during the pandemic and has been borrowing from the federal government ever since — remains unclear.

In an email Monday, Aug. 10, Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development spokesperson Rita Beatty said the department is still reviewing the order.

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"We are actively engaging our federal partners on how exactly the benefits would be paid out, and awaiting formal guidance from the U.S. Department of Labor on the State of Minnesota’s role," Beatty said.

Gov. Tim Walz and other Minnesota officials last week called on Congress to pass additional relief measures, saying the recent expiration of expanded entitlements and a lapse in eviction protection for tenants in federally mortgaged housing threatened to strain an economy already weakened by the pandemic. (Minnesota continues to maintain its own moratorium on court-ordered evictions consistent with the governor's peacetime emergency order.)

Despite the thousands of new job openings posted around the state, they said, many of the Minnesotans who are still collecting unemployment will face additional hardship as they continue to go without the federal boost.

"We need to have this next round of relief so that we can make sure that we get a handle on the virus, and we keep vibrancy back in our businesses," Walz said at the time.

Minnesota itself is grappling with budgeting issues because of the pandemic, federal relief for which looks increasingly unlikely. State budget officials in May projected a deficit of $2.4 billion for the current biennium and now believe Minnesota will face a deficit of $4.7 billion the following biennium.

Additional state aid has become a point of contention on Capitol Hill, however, where Republicans have largely derided it as a bailout. Trump didn't offer any in his latest executive order.

Minnesota previously received about $2 billion in aid through the initial pandemic relief bill and a new bill passed in the Democrat-control U.S. House would see about $540 billion in direct grants go to states, though its Senate counterpart included no such proposal. By the Minnesota Council of Non-Profit's estimates, that would be enough for Minnesota to receive $8 billion over the next two years in what it called "one of the essential decisions before Congressional negotiators."

"Boosting federal aid to the states has a strong economic boost, ensures that key public services can continue, and keeps teachers and other critical public employees on the job," said Clark Goldenrod, deputy director of the council's Minnesota Budget Project.

Municipalities are meanwhile facing budget shortfalls of their own because of the pandemic, said League of Minnesota Cities lobbyist Daniel Lightfoot, the effects of which will only grow worse with time. Despite Trump's executive orders, he said, city leaders are still holding out hope for Congress to pass a legislative aid package.

The group and the National League of Cities has called for $500 billion in federal, flexible aid for cities over the next two years and estimates U.S. cities have lost a total of $134 billion in revenue this year.

As local governments continue to furlough workers and defer infrastructural projects in response, he said, the more difficult a broader economic recovery will become.

"Due to the requirement of cities to have balanced budgets, this shortfall in revenue with added costs means that cities are being faced with very painful choices," Lightfoot said in a phone call Monday.