Posted at 1:41 PM on July 19, 2011
by Paul Tosto
The special session to pass all the bills needed to end the shutdown starts at 3 p.m. But as we await the official end to the 19 day shutdown, this special session will not end the drama that is the Minnesota Vikings stadium debate.
Public financing for a Vikings stadium is not on the agenda for the special session.
Gov. Mark Dayton told reporters he's not sure if he'll call a special session later in the year.
The Vikings, meanwhile, haven't said anything official and told reporters briefly that the team was assessing its options.
It's no surprise that the stadium isn't in this special session plan.
GOP House Speaker Kurt Zellers, Senate DFL leader Tom Bakk and Gov. Mark Dayton all said at some point in the past week that the subject of a Vikings football stadium bill hadn't surfaced for weeks and made it clear that it was unlikely to come up during a special session meant to finalize a budget and end the state shutdown.
Expect the "Vikings leaving" rhetoric to heat up, of course. But I'd also pay attention to the comments Senate DFL Leader Tom Bakk offered Friday on MPR's Midmorning program. He said then he didn't expect the stadium to come up in the shutdown session.
But then he added:
I"m going to suggest to the governor that he put together a task force to work on the stadium proposal and that some time next fall -- because the lease expires in December -- we see if we can find an agreement that we can find bipartisan support for and try to have a special session maybe sometime in the fall on that subject.Politically, that's not a bad path. Will it work for the Vikings? Stay tuned.Click on the play button below to listen to Bakk's comments on the Vikings, starting at the 37:15 mark.