Despite calls from the governor and Democratic leadership, it looks like the House will not hold a vote on the Vikings stadium vote on Saturday.
"Minnesota House will not vote on tax relief for charitable gaming bill today that contains the language for the Vikings stadium," House GOP spokeswoman Jodi Boyne tweeted just before 5 p.m.
The message came less than an hour after Gov. Mark Dayton and the DFL leadership called a press conference to lobby for a Saturday vote on the stadium
“The people of Minnesota, whether they’re for the stadium or against it, deserve an up or down vote,” Dayton told reporters Saturday, an hour before the House and Senate were scheduled to begin work on their end-of-session workload. “The Vikings deserve an up or down vote, the NFL deserves an up or down vote and as the league made clear last week…no action is the same as a ‘no’ vote.”
House Minority Leader Paul Thissen says he has the 34 DFL votes he’s been asked to put up to pass a stadium bill.
“If we are going to pass a Vikings stadium before the Speaker’s self-imposed April 30th deadline, then I believe we have to vote on the Vikings stadium today,” he said. “Speaker (Kurt) Zellers is the only legislative leader who hasn’t said whether or not he supports a stadium and at this point in the game, that is simply unacceptable.”
As the DFL leaders were talking to the press, irate Tweets began flying from the GOP camp, wondering why Thissen was telling the media he had the votes before he told Zellers.
“How convenient to hold a press conference vs just strolling over to share your news,” Boyne tweeted.
Meanwhile, Senate Minority Leader Bakk, wasn’t as willing to put up half the votes to push a stadium bill through the Senate. The GOP hasn’t been lifting its share of the load on the stadium bill, he said.
When the Twins stadium came up for a vote in 2006, Bakk said, the GOP minority put up 12 votes. Bakk said he hasn’t counted votes yet , but he might be able to do the same.
Dayton said the stadium bill should take priority over the bonding and tax bills that are still unresolved in both Houses.
“Don’t hold the Vikings stadium bill hostage any longer," Thissen said. "Put it up to an up or down vote. Stop tip-toeing around and stop the games. Put up the Vikings bill to an up or down vote so we can see where the people of the Minnesota State Legislature stand once and for all.”