GOP House Speaker Kurt Zellers sent an e-mail to Republican House members this week to update them on the Vikings Stadium issue. Zellers wrote in the e-mail that both he and GOP Senate Majority Amy Koch expressed concern to Gov. Dayton that a Vikings stadium bill could be passed by the Legislature. He said the weak economy and the Vikings opposition to allowing Ramsey County residents vote on a half cent countywide sales tax will make it difficult to pass the Legislature.
Zellers isn’t the only Republican who isn’t embracing a special session for a stadium. GOP House Majority Leader Matt Dean and Rep. Steve Drazkowski, R-Mazeppa, told MPR News that a special session should wait.
Gov. Dayton said he wants to call a special session for the week of Thanksgiving. He said he’ll present his preferred Vikings stadium plan in the second week of November. Dayton (and others) have argued that not acting on the stadium means the Vikings could leave Minnesota when their Metrodome lease is up in January.
Here’s the e-mail from Zellers to GOP House members:
As you may know, Governor Dayton requested a meeting yesterday with legislative leaders to discuss the Vikings stadium situation. I attended the meeting, along with Rep. Morrie Lanning, and I am writing to provide you with an update.
The meeting lasted for over one hour and there was discussion about potential support for a Vikings stadium bill and Special Session. Sen. Koch and I made it clear that it would be difficult to support a bill given the status of the economy in addition to the insistence of the Vikings that the local financing plan must include a half-cent sales tax increase – without a referendum – in Ramsey County.
During the meeting, Governor Dayton unveiled his idea of calling a Special Session right before Thanksgiving, which was not well received by the group. Unfortunately, despite the tepid response, Governor Dayton decided to give the media this timeline even without the support of the four caucuses.
In the meantime, please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.