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No Vikings stadium bill in special session

Posted by: under Funding, Gov. Mark Dayton, Minnesota legislature, State budgets Updated: July 15, 2011 - 6:35 PM

By KEVIN DUCHSCHERE and ROCHELLE OLSON 

A new $1 billion Minnesota Vikings stadium in Arden Hills won’t be part of a special legislative session next week, the Senate sponsor of the bill said Friday.

Sen. Julie Rosen, R-Fairmont, said that the stadium bill could be acted on during a special session later this year, perhaps in the fall. She said that she remains “strongly committed” to the bill, along with Gov. Mark Dayton and House sponsor Rep. Morrie Lanning, R-Moorhead.

“We will have a vote on [the stadium bill] and we’ll work to get it passed,” Rosen said. “But if I tried to get a vote on it right now, I’d be strung up.”

Rosen’s statement came after a day in which many legislators said their sole focus for the immediate future was finalizing details on the budget deal reached Thursday between Dayton and Republican legislative leaders.

Given the work that remains on the budget and the testiness of discussions, stadium skepticism ran high Friday.

“There’s not a lot of support for cutting people off health care, cutting jobs, then turning around and authorizing bonding for a stadium,” said Rep. Michael Nelson, DFL-Brooklyn Park, a stadium bill co-author.

The stadium bill, Rosen said, still has a few issues to work out — she mentioned specifically the state’s share of road improvement costs for the Arden Hills site — and needs committee hearings and a chance for public testimony. That can happen before the Legislature is called back to act on the bill, she said.

“It’s just not going to happen in this special session in the next week,” Rosen said.

Dayton, through a spokeswoman, didn’t commit Friday to calling a later special session for the stadium bill.

Katharine Tinucci wrote in an e-mail that Dayton “said earlier that he would consider a second special session later this year to deal with the stadium — all he said was that he would consider it.”



 

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