Rachel E. Stassen-Berger and Jim Ragsdale
Gov. Mark Dayton said Wednesday that he was "disappointed" in legislative leaders' lack of progress on a Minnesota Vikings stadium solution and now will not call a special session or release his own stadium outline.
"It's pretty clear that they're opposed to this special session, as far as I know, that leaves only the regular session as the option," he said after meeting with all four legislative caucus leaders.
Dayton said he heard “very clearly from legislative leaders that they don’t believe a special session, on the timetable I’ve proposed … is feasible."
He said he asked them what their “Plan B” was, and said they are interested in “waiting for the regular session, a 6-month delay, another $40 million or more in additional costs."
He said, "It takes 202 to tango," and he believes the process has slowed down. (There are 201 lawmakers in the Legislature.)
“I’m disappointed, because we were making progress, I thought, until today," he said. He said a new Vikings stadium could have produced thousands of job and "they walked away from it.
He said he planned a meeting with Vikings owner Zygi Wilf on Friday but will call it off.
He has also planned to present a stadium proposal on Monday, but now probably will not do so.
“I’m not coming forward with a plan next Monday if they’re not going to act until the end of the regular session, which will be close to May," he said.
He added: “It’s the legislators’ responsibility, the leaders, to tell the people of Minnesota, what is their plan."
The governor said he was "very surprised" by the email House Majority Speaker Kurt Zellers sent to members opposing a special session. Despite repeated meetings, Dayton said Zellers never expressed that strong reservation to him.