In the end, the funding mechanism was too complicated, too volatile to work. Tonight, 5 DFL legislators serving on the House Government Operations Committee essentially killed the Vikings stadium bill for this session:
After clearing two House committees with relative ease this month, a bill to use public money to help build a Minnesota Vikings stadium in Minneapolis was defeated Monday night, April 16, in a third, dealing a potentially fatal blow to the project’s chances this legislative session.
In a 9-6 vote that was bipartisan in its opposition, the House Government Operations and Elections Committee declined to go along with even a watered-down motion to pass the bill “without recommendation” to the House Taxes Committee.
Bill sponsor Morrie Lanning, R-Moorhead, called the vote “very disappointing” and said that for the bill to have any chance now to pass this session, which is expected to conclude by the end of the month, “Somebody’s going to have to pull a rabbit out of a hat.”
Vikings vice president Lester Bagley called the outcome “extremely disappointing” and said “it’s a mistake” for people to assume the Vikings and the NFL will continue operating under the status quo. He said that isn’t a threat that the team will leave, but “Minnesota’s in control of their destiny.
“We’ve done everything we’ve been asked,” Bagley said. The question for the state is: “What else would you expect us to do?”
It’s interesting that the DFL voted to kill Gov. Dayton’s key initiative this session:
Voting against the bill were Democrats Marion Greene, Frank Hornstein, Bev Scalze, Steve Simon and Ryan Winkler and Republicans Joyce Peppin, Rich Murray, David Hancock and Duane Quam.
Voting in favor was Democrat Michael Nelson and Republicans Michael Beard, Carol McFarlane, Tim O’Driscoll, Tim Sanders and Dean Urdahl.
The only DFL legislator to vote for the stadium bill was Michael Nelson. It would’ve been shocking if he hadn’t voted for the bill because he’s a union carpenter. Otherwise, the DFL abandoned Gov. Dayton on his signature issue, his crowning achievement.
The DFL is attempting to spin this vote as the GOP defeating the Vikings bill. Apparently, the DFL thinks Minnesotans are too stupid to count.
What’s stunning is that both DFL legislators representing Minneapolis on this committee, Marion Greene and Frank Hornstein, voted against the bill. So did Steve Simon and Ryan Winkler of Golden Valley.
If Gov. Dayton can’t get more than one vote in committee for his signature achievement, then he’s looking rather powerless.
There’s no mistaking this. This is a major defeat for Gov. Dayton and the DFL.