The chief House author for a new Minnesota Vikings stadium outlined a roadmap Wednesday for approval at the state Capitol – setting up a tight and politically dicey time table for a major piece of legislation.
Rep. Morrie Lanning, R-Moorhead, the chief House author, said the stadium legislation would now likely not be introduced until Monday, five days before the first deadline at the state Capitol for proposals to pass through a committee. The legislation would be introduced Monday, he said, “unless something comes up that delays it.”
The timing is now critical because Republican leaders, who control both the House and Senate, have talked about adjourning in late April.
Lanning acknowledged that many may be surprised that legislation still had not been formally introduced at the state Capitol, even though a week had passed since Gov. Mark Dayton, the city of Minneapolis and the Vikings announced they had reached a tentative agreement to build the $975 million stadium.
“It was natural for people to think that when [we had] this big announcement last Thursday everything was all set to go and deal was done,” he said. “But, you know, we only had a framework. We had terms of agreement. We had a term sheet.
“We have to turn that into language across the board and, yes, we’ve been working on language for months. But until you know what the final terms are, you can’t finish that language,” said Lanning.
Lanning however said there was still time to win approval, and said the proposal would likely move through four committees in the House – the plan would face a separate path in the Senate.
He said the proposal would first be heard by the House Commerce and Regulatory Reform Committee. He said he felt the 22-member panel, chaired by Rep. Joe Hoppe, R-Chaska, contained legislators who were “open and favorable” to the stadium proposal.
“I think it’s still quite possible for us to do [this],” he said of passing the stadium legislation this spring. “Are we on a tight schedule? Absolutely.
“I think it’s possible for us to get through a policy committee next week,” he added. “Will we be able to meet committee deadlines the way we’d like to? That’s yet to be determined.”