ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Gov. Tim Walz has signed three bills important to rural Minnesota, in addition to a $200 million package to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

One of the laws will offer $50 million in low-interest loans to farmers via the Rural Finance Authority. A second replenishes a disaster aid account with $30 million. And the third allows the Minnesota Department of Transportation to apply for a federal loan to complete a long-awaited safety project, the expansion of U.S. Highway 14 across southern Minnesota.

The money will allow the state to convert the 12 miles from Nicollet and New Ulm to four lanes.

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