(Rep. Tony Cornish, R-Good Thunder, speaks with David Gunderson of Brooklyn Park and Ben Theis of Golden Valley. Photo Credit: Tom Scheck)
Governor Dayton and DFL legislative leaders are calling on GOP House Speaker Kurt Zellers to bring up the Vikings stadium bill for a vote in the Minnesota House. House Democrats say they intend to meet Zellers’ demand to put up half of the votes needed for the bill to pass. Dayton said it’s time to vote.
“The people of Minnesota, whether they’re for the stadium or against it, deserve an up or down vote,” Dayton said. “The Vikings deserve an up or down vote. The NFL deserves an up or down vote and as Commissioner Goodell made clear last week, no action is the same as a no vote.”
Zellers has not said when he intends to schedule the vote on the Vikings stadium but his spokeswoman wrote on Twitter that the vote won’t be today.
Dayton and legislative leaders were hoping to pass a Vikings stadium bill, a tax bill and a bonding bill before Monday’s self-imposed deadline to adjourn.
Tom Bakk, the DFL Senate Minority Leader, wouldn’t say how many Democrats will vote for the stadium bill in the Senate. GOP Senate Majority Leader Dave Senjem said he hoped to hold the Vikings stadium vote on Sunday.
Dayton’s demand came on the same day that the Taxpayers League of Minnesota held an anti-tax rally at the State Capitol.
Phil Krinkie, the president of the Taxpayers League of Minnesota, said those who attended the rally in the rain and cold are sending a signal to the Legislature to keep spending in check and vote against public subsidies for a Vikings stadium and for a public works construction bill.
“I think most of the people out here really believe that the budget is balanced and their life and liberty is more important than another piece of legislation let alone a Vikings stadium or a bonding bill,” Krinkie said.
The anti-tax rally wasn’t the only event at the State Capitol. A group of Vikings stadium supporters also stood out the House Chambers to urge the House to vote on the bill. Some of the group, clad in Vikings gear that included helmets and swords, cheered when lawmakers said they would vote for the bill. They also chanted “Save our Team” to other members.
Several Republican state legislators attended the event but none of them spoke. Zellers says he hopes to wrap up work on Monday.