GOP House Speaker Kurt Zellers says the Vikings are going to get what they asked for: a vote by the House on the deal they struck with the Dayton administration, the Vikings and the city of Minneapolis.
“We’ll be having a vote on the Vikings stadium on Monday,” Zellers said. “The Vikings and the governor believe the votes are there. At this point, it’s going to be up to him to gain the votes. These things, stadiums, whether it be for professional baseball, hockey or football, rise and fall on the ability of a governor not only to sell, but deliver votes.”
The announcement came minutes after House Majority Leader Matt Dean said the GOP was dropping its “Plan B,” this week’s proposal to fund the new stadium with general obligation bonds.
“We met for several hours yesterday, and came very close… And then when we began working with MMB, it became clear that there was some hurdles within that particular arrangement about using general obligation bonds,” Dean said at a morning press conference. “Because of those impediments, and we said that we would only move forward with a bill that we could get support from all parties with, that we will not be bringing that forward as a bonding proposal. We will not be bringing something forward that is not going to stand the test of scrutiny with MMB.”
Zellers sounded a pessimistic tone about the stadium’s prospects when it goes before his colleagues next week.
“I don’t know that there are the votes in the Republican caucus for the votes at this point,” Zellers said.
He also said he won’t be among them.
“I’ve said many times, I’m trying to stay out of being a political reason for people to vote for or against the bill. I can say as the bill sits now, the cost overruns being paid for by the taxpayers, I don’t think are fair deal. I have said many times, this should be a good deal for the taxpayers. The team not paying at least 50 percent of the price is a problem for me as well. And if there is no vote by the Minneapolis residents, I don’t think that’s fair. It was the reason I voted against the Twins bill, and if those provisions are continued in here, I will not be able to support the bill.”
Senate Majority Leader Dave Senjem said he expects the Senate will take up the stadium financing bill when, and if, the House passes it.