Dayton: Vikings stadium 'in limbo'by Tim Pugmire, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Republican legislative leaders today rejected Gov. Mark Dayton's timetable for a special session to address a proposed Minnesota Vikings stadium.
Republican House Speaker Kurt Zellers says he needs to see a specific Vikings stadium plan before he can support a special session to take up the issue.
Zellers threw a wrench into stadium talks when he sent an email to his GOP colleagues Tuesday night saying he opposes the governor's plan to call a special session before Thanksgiving.
He emerged from a private meeting with Dayton Wednesday afternoon and said the House and Senate will now hold a series of public hearings on the various funding options for a stadium, but he didn't say when those hearings would take place. "Focusing on the date and timeline is getting the cart ahead of the horse here when we don't have a plan to vote on," Zellers said. "We don't have a plan do have those public hearings on or have a special session on."
A disappointed Dayton had wanted to call a special session before Thanksgiving. The DFL governor said he was surprised to learn earlier Wednesday that Republican House Speaker Kurt Zellers was opposed to that plan. After a today's meeting with the House and Senate leaders, Dayton told reporters that the stadium discussions are in limbo and he no longer plans to unveil his own stadium proposal next week.
"To extend it now for another six months until the end of the regular session, which will be early May, is just going to leave us with the same basic decisions," Dayton said. "Do we want to keep the team or not, where to locate a a stadium if we do and how to pay for that, not using any general fund tax revenues."
Later in the evening, a Vikings spokesman issued a brief statement, calling Wednesday's developments "very disappointing.
"The Vikings stadium issue has been heavily debated in the public for over 10 years. With less than 90 days left on the team's lease, the urgency to act is on us," said the email statement from Jeff Anderson, director of communications for the Minnesota Vikings.
- All Things Considered, 11/02/2011, 5:20 p.m.