More bonding trouble for stadium plan

The GOP-backed plan to use general obligation bonding to finance the state’s share of a new Vikings stadium appears to have yet another hurdle to jump.

Trouble is, according to Rep. Terry Morrow, DFL- St. Peter, that general obligation bonding has a maximum term of 20 years — shrinking the debt payment schedule from the expected 30 year lifespan of the stadium.

John Polllard, spokesman for the state department of Management and Budget, confirmed the term issue.

Morrow says that poses another problem: matching the team’s lease with the life of the bonds may violate strictures on using the state’s credit card for “private purposes.”

“We’ve all presumed a 30 year lease, but we cannot legally do a lease longer than 15 years. You can’t have a lease with a private entity concide with the terms of the payment. State bond counsel is telling us the maximum lease the Vikings can sign is 15 years. I don’t think we should bet the state’s money on the fact that the Vikings will double the lease. We should have a plan that is firm, consistent and that people can vote for on the front end, and not hope for a good outcome in 15 years.”

Morrow is a co-sponsor of the original stadium plan that finances the state share with electronic pull-tabs and bingo.

The Associated Press’ Martiga Lohn is also reporting that Senate Majority Leader Dave Senjem is confirming that the stadium debt and general obligation bonding need to be “delinked.”

Republicans have scheduled an 11:30 press conference to talk about the matter.

UPDATE: House majority leader Matt Dean says there were too many obstacles to plan to finance stadium with general obligation bonds, says caucus won’t be bringing the plan forward. Plan looks dead.

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