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Saying that Sarah Anderson has picked a good fight with Gov. Dayton is understatement. Anderson got an amendment attached to SF3656, “which includes a provision” that would “utilize excess funds from the Vikings stadium reserve to construct three veterans homes in Montevideo, Bemidji, and Preston.”

It’s amazing that Gov. Dayton would pick this fight. What’s more amazing is that Gov. Dayton is fighting Rep. Anderson’s amendment by saying that “Republicans are stealing the money from a special fund that pays for the new home of the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium.” First, it’s particularly stupid to fight against building these veterans homes “in Preston, Montevideo and Bemidji.”

Gov. Dayton is picking a fight that puts him in opposition to these veterans homes while protecting the Vikings stadium. What’s worse for Gov. Dayton’s argument is that Rep. Anderson issued this statement:

Chair Anderson added that the proposal caps the stadium reserve account at 127% of the state debt service payments on the stadium to protect taxpayers. “Our bills caps the reserve at a level that already exceeds what is financially responsible in order to protect taxpayers. There is simply no excuse for these funds—much of which are generated by charitable gambling by veterans groups at VFW’s and Legions throughout the state—to sit in a government bank account.

After issuing that statement, Rep. Anderson explained the amendment during this press availability:

People won’t have difficulty understanding that there’s more than enough money in the fund to pay the state’s obligation for the stadium plus a healthy reserve fund plus millions of dollars in excess of the reserve fund.

Gov. Dayton hasn’t explained why this money should be used to make the reserve fund for the Vikings Stadium bigger than it needs to be rather than spending this money on 3 veterans homes. I’d love hearing Gov. Dayton and the DFL explain their twisted priorities.

Keeping tens of millions of extra dollars in the reserve fund rather than putting it to good use for veterans is twisted and then some.

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