A powerful legislative committee convened Thursday morning to grant a procedural exemption that keeps a proposal for a new Minnesota Vikings stadium alive in the House.
Without discussion or the debate, the House Rules Committee sent the stadium legislation to its next committee stop. The committee is not likely to hold a hearing before a week-long legislative break for Easter and Passover.
Vikings vice president Lester Bagley, who has led the lobbying effort to win approval for the nearly $1 billion publicly-funded stadium, sat silently in the back of the hearing room, holding a giant cup of Starbucks coffee.
It is far from certain legislators can pass stadium legislation this session, which could end in just a couple weeks. The proposal has made it through just one committee in the House and not a single panel in the Senate. Many legislators would prefer to put off the debate until next year, after November elections.
DFL Gov. Mark Dayton has pushed to get the agreement done this year, saying the team could leave the state if a deal isn’t reached soon.
A Duluth native who just barely lost Virginia's GOP gubernatorial primary said that politicians have not gone far enough in condemning the left for violence during a rally of white nationalists in Charlottesville. "I think that the left is going to try to use this as an excuse to crack down on conservative free speech," said Corey Stewart. "I think they're going to try to use this as an excuse to remove more historical monuments."