Don Davis has been the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau chief since 2001, covering state government and politics for two dozen newspapers in the state. Don also blogs at Capital Chatter on Areavoices.
- Member for
- 5 years 6 months
ST. PAUL -- It will be a Monday night football game like none other. The Minnesota Legislature plans to finally debate a Vikings stadium plan Monday, a debate many predict to last 12 hours in each chamber. The $975 million facility is the single largest construction project state lawmakers ever have considered. "The Vikings and the governor believe the votes are there," House Speaker Kurt Zellers, R-Maple Grove, said Thursday in announcing the plan for a Monday vote. However, in the past couple of days even some stadium supporters have doubted there are enough votes to pass the plan.
ST. PAUL -- A disagreement about how money should be divided between the state's two public college and university systems put the brakes on a public works funding bill minutes before Thursday night debate was to begin. Rep. Larry Howes, R-Walker, said Gov. Mark Dayton threatened to veto the bill if spending in the two systems was not closer to being balanced. The bill Howes and Sen. Dave Senjem, R-Rochester, wrote would have given $54 million to the University of Minnesota and $145 million to the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system, mostly for repair work.
ST. PAUL -- A Republican Vikings stadium plan has collapsed and legislative leaders decided to take votes on the original plan Monday, perhaps opening the door to end the 2012 Minnesota Legislature. However, leaders did not predict the existing plan would pass or say if they would try again if it fails. In a mid-day announcement, GOP leaders also said they would consider a $496 million public works finance bill separate from the stadium. The Senate today was to debate a Republican-written tax bill that Democratic Gov.
ST. PAUL -- Republican leaders and Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton plan to discuss a new GOP-written Vikings stadium proposal this afternoon, but the governor did not wait until then to say the idea could kill any chances of a stadium being approved. "The three of us have invited the speaker and Senate majority leader to a meeting this afternoon to see if anything can be salvaged out of this fiasco," Dayton said, with Democratic legislative leaders standing alongside him. Republicans agreed to the 1 p.m.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota Republican lawmakers say it is time for a Vikings stadium plan do-over. Republican leaders said Tuesday that they are crafting a plan less expensive for the state than one awaiting House and Senate votes. Gov. Mark Dayton and Democratic legislative leaders learn-ed of the proposal Tuesday morning and by telling reporters about it they forced Republicans who control the Legislature to reveal the concept that has been discussed in private for two weeks. While many Republicans ap-pear to like the plan, Democrats are upset they have not been involved.
ST. PAUL -- Republican lawmakers are writing a new Vikings stadium plan, upsetting Democrats, including Gov. Mark Dayton. House Majority Leader Matt Dean, R-Dellwood, late this afternoon said that he heard from fellow Republicans that the $975 million stadium plan, with $398 million of state money, was too expensive.
ST. PAUL -- Legislators are looking at ways to change the Vikings stadium proposal, including discussions about an open-air stadium and the possibility of repaying construction loans with general tax money. The plan that awaits House and Senate votes calls for a roofed stadium that would not be funded with general tax money. Many legislators have pledged not to vote for a stadium that uses general fund dollars. Chief stadium bill author Rep.
ST. PAUL -- Larry Spooner loves Vikings football, so much that he has taken more than 40 days vacation over the years to ask legislators to approve a new stadium. But as he parked his van Monday in front of the Minnesota Capitol, where it will return later this week as lawmakers consider a stadium, he said his support of building a new stadium goes well beyond love of the game and tailgating; he also wants to help his state. So alongside his van is a banner that reads: "New stadium yes!
ST. PAUL - A Vikings stadium construction proposal is stalled in the Minnesota Senate. The Senate Tax Committee was expected to debate the bill today, but now does not plan to take it up. The bill needs to go through the committee before the full Senate can vote. There was no immediate indication when the bill could come up. Sen. Julianne Ortman, R-Chanhassen, said the Vikings stadium bill should go through her Tax Committee before heading to the floor.
ST. PAUL - A Senate committee voted today to backup Vikings stadium funding by allowing horse-racing tracks to add casinos, a change the bill author said would kill the bill. Sen. Sean Nienow, R-Cambridge, offered an amendment to allow so-called racinos at the state's two horse tracks, replacing increased taxes expected from allowing electronic pulltab and bingo charitable games as a way to fund stadium construction. Before committee members voted on the Nienow amendment, Sen. Keith Langseth, DFL-Glyndon, got it changed to allow both the pulltab and racino expansion.