Dayton "surprised" GOP opposes a special session.
Gov. Mark Dayton on Wednesday called off plans to hammer out a solution this month for a new Minnesota Vikings stadium, saying Republican leaders had abruptly "walked away" from the idea of a special legislative session.
Key Republicans countered that the issue is not an emergency, dismissing speculation that the team is prepared to leave the state if no resolution is reached.
A frustrated Dayton emerged from a tense meeting with Republicans and said he was postponing his plan to announce on Monday a stadium-funding proposal. The meeting came after another day of stadium politics that erupted after House Speaker Kurt Zellers messaged lawmakers Tuesday night to say he had "repeatedly" told Dayton he opposed a special session and felt the issue could wait until next year.
While Zellers largely dodged questions on where he stood after the Wednesday meeting with Dayton, the DFL governor pointedly said that he was "very surprised" by Zellers' comments.
"Nobody's ever told me explicitly that they opposed the special session," Dayton said. "They walked away from it."
Dayton also said he was calling off a meeting Friday with Vikings owner Zygi Wilf. "The statement's pretty clear that they're opposed to this special session."
The day's events signaled that Republican lawmakers, despite mounting political pressure from the Vikings, are not convinced that the February expiration of the team's lease at the Metrodome is sufficient reason to rush into special session.
Republican officials pointed out that there is still no public funding plan or definite location for the proposed $1.1 billion stadium. "You can't have a vote on a special session without having a plan," Zellers said.
Several key House Republicans applauded Zellers' stance, saying it reflects the views of what might now be a majority of legislators.
Rep. Linda Runbeck, R-Circle Pines, who chairs the House Property and Local Tax Division, said since the summer there has been a sense growing among House members "who do not believe there's an emergency."
She dismissed any threat that the Vikings, who have played in the downtown Minneapolis Metrodome since 1982, would leave Minnesota if a publicly subsidized stadium is not approved soon.
"We've seen the stadium games played out all the previous decades," she said. "There's always a threat."
She said too many stadium supporters were failing to examine why the Vikings needed to build a $1.1 billion stadium that would mostly reward Wilf and that had "little to do with the game itself."
Vikings officials called the standoff "very disappointing."
Lester Bagley, the team's vice president for stadium development and public affairs, said that "it's only going to get more expensive and more difficult to resolve, especially if the state allows the lease to expire with no action. The Vikings' lease expires in 90 days. At that point, we will be the only NFL team without a lease."
But other GOP leaders echoed the skepticism of Zellers and Runbeck.
Rep. Steve Gottwalt, R-St. Cloud, chairman of the House Health and Human Services Reform panel, said he agreed "wholeheartedly" with Zellers.
"I also don't think we've seen the best offer yet from the Vikings," Gottwalt said. The Vikings, he said, are "asking too much, frankly, from the state of Minnesota right now, especially given our financial situation."
The Republican chairwoman of the House Government Operations and Elections Committee, a likely first stop for a stadium public hearing, said she also saw no hurry. "I don't believe it's necessary," Rep. Joyce Peppin, R-Rogers, said of a special session. "Nobody has told me that the Vikings are planning on leaving [Minnesota] in the next two months" before the Legislature convenes in January for a regular session, Peppin said.
Added Rep. Greg Davids, R-Preston, who heads the influential House Taxes Committee: "I don't think anything is going to be done or finished before Thanksgiving."
While the Vikings want to build a 65,000-seat stadium in the Ramsey County city of Arden Hills, the project took a political torpedo Tuesday when Dayton announced there was not enough legislative support for exempting the requirement for a referendum on any local sales tax increase to help fund the stadium. Ramsey County had proposed raising $350 million for the stadium through a countywide sales tax increase, and stadium backers had long argued that a referendum would effectively scuttle the project.
Despite the showdown between Dayton and Republicans over the stadium, Senate Minority Leader Tom Bakk, DFL-Cook, said he was buoyed by the Republican announcement that there would be public hearings at some point. "[But] it seems like we're going in the wrong direction," Bakk said.
|New England||2/1/15 5:30 PM|
|Milwaukee||43||2nd Qtr 6:53|
|New York||31||2nd Qtr 8:51|
|Montreal||0||1st Prd :41|
|Arizona||0||1st Prd 13:36|
|Dallas||0||1st Prd 14:45|
|Detroit||0||1st Prd 14:17|
|Columbus||0||1st Prd 11:22|
|Michigan State||67||2nd Half 3:12|
|Boston Univ||33||1st Half 1:12|
|Fla Atlantic||25||1st Half 1:49|
|Youngstown St||20||1st Half 2:00|
|East Tenn St||24||2nd Half|
|Saint Louis||21||1st Half 2:15|
|USC Upstate||39||1st Half 4:52|
|High Point||33||1st Half 1:00|
|Central Conn St||24||2nd Half|
|Western Ky||23||2nd Half|
|Wofford||30||1st Half 0:59|
|Maryland||26||1st Half 0:59|
|FIU||26||1st Half 0:03|
|Mount St Marys||27||2nd Half|
|Northern Ky||27||1st Half 1:00|
|Coll of Charleston||19||2nd Half|
|Western Carolina||33||1st Half 2:23|
|Sacred Heart||28||1st Half 1:54|
|Fla Gulf Coast||37|
|Kennesaw St||23||2nd Half|
|Appalachian St||5||1st Half 12:48|
|Holy Cross||6||1st Half 13:18|
|Eastern Ill||8||1st Half 14:01|
|Jacksonville St||7:00 PM|
|SIU Edwardsville||7:00 PM|
|SE Missouri St|
|Tenn Tech||7:00 PM|
|Middle Tennessee||7:00 PM|
|Weber State||7:00 PM|
|North Dakota St|
|IUPU-Ft Wayne||7:00 PM|
|Georgia State||7:15 PM|
|Ark-Little Rock||7:30 PM|
|Eastern Ky||8:00 PM|
|Idaho State||8:00 PM|
|Chicago State||8:05 PM|
|Utah Valley U|
|Cal Poly||9:00 PM|
|Santa Clara||9:00 PM|
|UC Santa Barbara||9:00 PM|
|Montana State||9:05 PM|
|Long Beach State||9:30 PM|
|Cal State Fullerton|
|Loyola Marymount||9:30 PM|
|San Francisco||10:00 PM|
|Georgia State||36||2nd Half 3:59|
|Ark-Little Rock||69||2nd Half 0:07|
|ULM||26||2nd Half 11:43|
|Pittsburgh||26||2nd Half 11:29|
|(6) Tennessee||25||1st Half 1:26|
|(24) Oklahoma||33||2nd Half|
|Nebraska Omaha||27||2nd Half|
|New Orleans||20||2nd Half|
|Hofstra||30||1st Half 1:41|
|New Hampshire||24||2nd Half|
|William & Mary||34|
|Clemson||27||1st Half 3:19|
|Alabama||18||1st Half 1:18|
|(1) South Carolina||37|
|(23) Syracuse||30||1st Half 0:29|
|NC State||35||2nd Half|
|(4) Notre Dame||36||1st Half 3:20|
|(22) Rutgers||26||1st Half 0:48|
|(5) Maryland||48||2nd Half|
|Milwaukee||24||1st Half 0:08|
|Wright State||52||2nd Half|
|Jacksonville||22||1st Half 2:20|
|North Florida||20||2nd Half|
|Lamar||6||1st Half 14:34|
|Sam Houston St||11|
|Fla Gulf Coast||0||1st Half 14:06|
|(18) Miss State|
|Abilene Christian||7:00 PM|
|Incarnate Word||7:00 PM|
|McNeese State||7:00 PM|
|Oral Roberts||7:00 PM|
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|Louisiana Tech||7:00 PM|
|TX-San Antonio||7:00 PM|
|Texas-El Paso||7:00 PM|
|Grand Canyon||7:00 PM|
|(20) Iowa||7:00 PM|
|Utah Valley U||7:05 PM|
|Green Bay||7:05 PM|
|Ole Miss||8:00 PM|
|Portland State||8:00 PM|
|Sacramento St||8:00 PM|
|North Dakota||8:00 PM|
|Ohio State||8:00 PM|
|Northern Colorado||8:00 PM|
|St Marys-CA||9:00 PM|
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|San Diego||9:00 PM|
|UC Davis||9:00 PM|
|Long Beach St||10:59 PM|
|Aug 8 - vs. Oakland||7 pm||X||10-6|
|Aug 16 - vs. Arizona||7:30 pm||X||30-28|
|Aug 23 - at Kansas City||7 pm||X||30-12|
|Aug 28 - at Tennessee||7 pm||X||19-3|
|2014 regular season|
|Sep 7 - at St. Louis||Noon||X||34-6|
|Sep 14 - vs. New England||Noon||X||30-7|
|Sep 21 - at New Orleans||Noon||X||20-9|
|Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta||3:25 pm||X||41-28|
|Oct 2 - at Green Bay||7:25 pm||X||42-10|
|Oct 12 - vs. Detroit||Noon||X||17-3|
|Oct 19 - at. Buffalo||Noon||X||17-16|
|Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay||Noon||X||19-13 ot|
|Nov 2 - vs. Washington||Noon||X||29-26|
|Nov 9 - Bye|
|Nov 16 - at Chicago||Noon||X||21-13|
|Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay||Noon||X||24-21|
|Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina||Noon||X||31-13|
|Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets||Noon||X||30-24 ot|
|Dec 14 - at Detroit||3:25 pm||X||16-14|
|Dec 21 - at Miami||Noon||X||37-35|
|Dec 28 - vs. Chicago||Noon||X||13-9|