With the legislative session in its final days, DFL Gov. Mark Dayton and GOP legislators dug in their heels over taxes and a bonding bill.
A chief author of the Minnesota Vikings stadium plan said Sunday it was "very questionable" that the project would win approval unless Gov. Mark Dayton and Republican legislative leaders first reach agreement on other issues.
"Without a global agreement, without an agreement on a bonding bill and a tax bill," said Rep. Morrie Lanning, R-Moorhead, "it's very questionable whether there will be a vote on the stadium."
Lanning's comments were the surest sign that Republicans were digging in their heels on broader differences with the DFL governor as the Legislature headed into what may be its final few days.
Lanning seemed to dangle the promise of the stadium passing the Republican-controlled House -- he said there were enough votes -- but said it all depended on Dayton's willingness to agree to business tax relief and a smaller state bond package.
Dayton and the Republicans held no direct talks Sunday, and the atmosphere at the deserted state Capitol was suddenly reminiscent of last summer, when the budget impasse led to a state government shutdown. The governor said Saturday that the Republicans' "view of compromise is doing things their way" and "that's just not going to work this time."
Both the House and Senate are scheduled to meet Monday, but it was unclear whether Republicans would quickly adjourn the three-month session and run the political risk of leaving without a signature accomplishment.
Following a week of renewed momentum after a visit from the National Football League commissioner, the subsidy package for the $1 billion stadium has in the past two days taken a back seat to a stare down between Dayton and the Republican House and Senate majorities.
Republicans want the elimination of the statewide business property tax, a move the governor has resisted because it could require dipping into the state's emergency budget reserves. A House-Senate conference panel nonetheless agreed late Saturday on a series of business-friendly tax provisions, including a freeze on business property taxes.
Dayton and DFLers meanwhile want a larger state bonding bill, spending that many Republicans oppose.
The Vikings stadium, which has its own set of political problems, for now seems to be caught in the middle.
"If the thought is I'm going to support an inadequate bonding bill or a terrible tax policy approach in order to get a stadium, then we're going to have to sit down and rethink [things] -- by we, I mean the entire House," said Rep. Terry Morrow, DFL-St. Peter, a leading Vikings stadium supporter.
Also Sunday, Vikings spokesman Lester Bagley and Lanning seemed to dispute House Speaker Kurt Zellers, who said Saturday there were indications from stadium advocates that there were not yet enough House votes for the project. "That's not anything he heard from me," said Lanning.
Although Zellers and other Republican leaders have largely been cool to the stadium, the decision to tie it to business tax relief and the state bonding package appeared to represent a quick reversal in strategy.
On Friday, following the stadium's approval by the Senate Taxes Committee, Senate Majority Leader David Senjem said the stadium plan would move forward on its own. "We're not going to -- I don't think -- hold it up," he said. "If we can't get a [overall] deal, why, I suspect we'll bring" the stadium plan up for a Senate floor vote.
"I think, by and large, the idea of a vote on the Minnesota Vikings this is year is something" the Senate should do, said Senjem.
Even if the stadium plan gets to the House and Senate floor, obstacles remain.
One materialized Friday when a plan to publicly subsidize the stadium entirely with user fees was narrowly defeated in the Senate Taxes Committee, but clearly had significant support. Even Sen. Julianne Ortman, R-Chanhassen, chairwoman of the Senate Taxes Committee, said she thought the idea had merit.
Dayton, the Vikings and Minneapolis officials -- the stadium would be built in Minneapolis -- want the state's $398 million stadium share to come from allowing electronic bingo and pulltabs in Minnesota's restaurants and bars. The city's $150 million share would come from diverting a series of local taxes now being used fund the city's convention center.
But a plan to instead rely on user fees, placing charges on everything from tickets and stadium signs to the Vikings' share of television revenue, will likely be offered on the Senate floor.
If user fees replaced public subsidies for the stadium, "I would guess 99 percent of the public opposition [to the stadium] would go away," Sen. John Marty, DFL-Roseville, a longtime critic of stadium public subsidies, said Sunday.
Bagley said the Vikings would oppose such a move, saying that the team had spent months negotiating an agreement with state officials that obligated the Vikings to a $427 million stadium contribution. If user fees were suddenly to replace the public subsidy package, and essentially tax the Vikings' stadium revenue, the team would likely lower its $427 million commitment.
Bagley also said that many last-minute suggestions were not sincere, and were simply attempts by stadium opponents to scuttle the project. "They want to kill it,'' said Bagley, the team's vice president of stadium development and public affairs. "They want to weigh it down,"
Mike Kaszuba • 651-222-1673
|NY Yankees - LP: M. Pineda||0||FINAL|
|Toronto - WP: D. Hutchison||2|
|Detroit - LP: M. Scherzer||3||FINAL|
|Chicago WSox - WP: C. Sale||6|
|Chicago Cubs - WP: F. Doubront||5||FINAL|
|St. Louis - LP: J. Masterson||1|
|Cincinnati||1||Top 7th Inning|
|Minnesota - K. Gibson||6:05 PM|
|Baltimore - C. Tillman|
|Philadelphia - J. Williams||6:10 PM|
|NY Mets - B. Colon|
|Miami - J. Cosart||6:10 PM|
|Atlanta - A. Harang|
|Boston - A. Webster||6:10 PM|
|Tampa Bay - J. Odorizzi|
|Cleveland - T. Bauer||6:10 PM|
|Kansas City - J. Shields|
|Detroit - K. Ryan||6:10 PM|
|Chicago WSox - C. Bassitt|
|Texas - R. Ross Jr.||6:10 PM|
|Houston - S. Feldman|
|Colorado - T. Matzek||7:10 PM|
|Arizona - V. Nuno|
|Chicago Cubs - T. Wada||7:15 PM|
|St. Louis - M. Gonzales|
|Los Angeles - Z. Greinke||7:40 PM|
|San Diego - I. Kennedy|
|Milwaukee - M. Fiers||8:05 PM|
|San Francisco - J. Peavy|
|Oakland - J. Samardzija||8:05 PM|
|LA Angels - C. Rasmus|
|Washington - S. Strasburg||8:10 PM|
|Seattle - R. Elias|
|Green Bay||9/4/14 7:30 PM|
|(6) Jacksonville St||7||FINAL|
|(8) Michigan State||45|
|(5) Ohio State||34||FINAL|
|Boston College||30||4th Qtr 4:15|
|West Virginia||17||3rd Qtr 11:25|
|Rice||10||3rd Qtr 5:01|
|(17) Notre Dame||28|
|(10) South Dakota St||18||3rd Qtr 4:58|
|Fla Atlantic||7||3rd Qtr 10:55|
|California||31||3rd Qtr 4:55|
|Marshall||28||3rd Qtr 10:58|
|UC Davis||0||3rd Qtr 15:00|
|(16) Clemson||7||1st Qtr 9:04|
|(23) North Carolina|
|Ohio U||5:00 PM|
|Louisiana Tech||6:00 PM|
|Stephen F Austin||6:10 PM|
|(20) Kansas State|
|Fresno State||6:30 PM|
|Southern Miss||6:30 PM|
|Texas-El Paso||7:00 PM|
|North Texas||7:00 PM|
|(1) Florida State||7:00 PM|
|(14) Wisconsin||8:00 PM|
|South Dakota||9:30 PM|
|(25) Washington||9:30 PM|
|Utah State||8/31/14 6:00 PM|
|SMU||8/31/14 6:30 PM|
|Miami-Florida||9/1/14 7:00 PM|
|Arizona||9/4/14 7:00 PM|
|Pittsburgh||9/5/14 6:00 PM|
|Washington St||9/5/14 9:30 PM|
|SMU||9/6/14 11:00 AM|
|Fla Atlantic||9/6/14 11:00 AM|
|Buffalo||9/6/14 11:00 AM|
|(24) Missouri||9/6/14 11:00 AM|
|Arkansas State||9/6/14 11:00 AM|
|(8) McNeese State||9/6/14 11:00 AM|
|Central Mich||9/6/14 11:00 AM|
|Akron||9/6/14 11:00 AM|
|Western Ill||9/6/14 11:00 AM|
|(20) Kansas State||9/6/14 11:00 AM|
|(4) Oklahoma||9/6/14 11:00 AM|
|Western Ky||9/6/14 11:00 AM|
|SC State||9/6/14 11:30 AM|
|Navy||9/6/14 12:00 PM|
|UAB||9/6/14 1:00 PM|
|South Alabama||9/6/14 1:00 PM|
|New Mexico St||9/6/14 1:00 PM|
|Colorado||9/6/14 2:00 PM|
|Fresno State||9/6/14 2:00 PM|
|(1) Eastern Wash||9/6/14 2:00 PM|
|(15) USC||9/6/14 2:30 PM|
|Ohio U||9/6/14 2:30 PM|
|Middle Tennessee||9/6/14 2:30 PM|
|Northern Ill||9/6/14 2:30 PM|
|Missouri State||9/6/14 2:30 PM|
|Ball State||9/6/14 2:30 PM|
|Maryland||9/6/14 2:30 PM|
|Eastern Mich||9/6/14 3:00 PM|
|Georgia Tech||9/6/14 3:00 PM|
|(18) Ole Miss||9/6/14 3:30 PM|
|Old Dominion||9/6/14 5:00 PM|
|(8) Michigan State||9/6/14 5:30 PM|
|(19) Arizona State||9/6/14 6:00 PM|
|Louisiana Tech||9/6/14 6:00 PM|
|San Jose St||9/6/14 6:00 PM|
|East Carolina||9/6/14 6:00 PM|
|(9) So Carolina|
|Duke||9/6/14 6:00 PM|
|Idaho||9/6/14 6:00 PM|
|(17) Sam Houston St||9/6/14 6:30 PM|
|Michigan||9/6/14 6:30 PM|
|(17) Notre Dame|
|Lamar||9/6/14 6:30 PM|
|(21) Texas A&M|
|Northwestern St||9/6/14 6:30 PM|
|BYU||9/6/14 6:30 PM|
|Citadel||9/6/14 6:30 PM|
|(1) Florida State|
|San Diego St||9/6/14 7:00 PM|
|(23) North Carolina|
|Virginia Tech||9/6/14 7:00 PM|
|(5) Ohio State|
|Memphis||9/6/14 9:00 PM|
|Colorado State||9/6/14 9:15 PM|
|Air Force||9/6/14 9:15 PM|
|Oregon State||9/6/14 9:30 PM|
|Texas Tech||9/6/14 10:00 PM|
|Colorado||0||2nd Half 5:00|
|New England||2||1st Half 5:00|
|FC Dallas||7:30 PM|
|Real Salt Lake||9:30 PM|
|Winnipeg||8/31/14 3:00 PM|
|Toronto||9/1/14 12:00 PM|
|Edmonton||9/1/14 3:30 PM|
|Brt Columbia||9/5/14 6:30 PM|
|Calgary||9/6/14 6:00 PM|
|Hamilton||9/7/14 12:00 PM|
|Saskatchewan||9/7/14 3:00 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|
|Sep 14 - vs. New England||Noon|
|Sep 21 - at New Orleans||Noon|
|Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta||3:25 pm|
|Oct 2 - at Green Bay||7:25 pm|
|Oct 12 - vs. Detroit||Noon|
|Oct 19 - at. Buffalo||Noon|
|Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay||Noon|
|Nov 2 - vs. Washington||Noon|
|Nov 9 - Bye|
|Nov 16 - at Chicago||Noon|
|Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay||Noon|
|Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina||Noon|
|Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets||Noon|
|Dec 14 - at Detroit||Noon|
|Dec 21 - at Miami||Noon|
|Dec 28 - vs. Chicago||Noon|