Zellers: Legislature will emphasize economy, not stadiumby Tim Nelson, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — The Minnesota Legislature convenes Tuesday, and legislative leaders say they want to focus on getting Minnesota's economy running better, and instituting long-term reforms that will make state government more efficient.
House speaker Kurt Zellers told MPR's Morning Edition on Monday that he's neutral about another high-profile issue, a new home for the Minnesota Vikings. He said it's up to stadium supporters to win support at the Capitol.
"I see my job as to kind of stay out of the way of those folks let them have a fair trial either in the committe process, or when it comes to the floor, rather than saying one way or the other that its my job to decide if it does or doesn't pass," Zellers said. "It's really up to the advocates and the authors of the bill, and that would be the Vikings, and the city of Minneapolis, or the city of Arden Hills, and then the two authors in the house and Senate to really build a bipartisan coalition and get it passed."
Zellers said the Legislature's priorities will change now that the state isn't faced with a multi-billion dollar budget gap.
"Now we're in surplus -- albeit temporary, and we're not going to go out in a crazy spending spree -- but we do have a budget surplus. We are going to look at it for reforming for the sake of reform," Zellers said. "Now it can be truly about what is it that we need to do to get more out of the hard-earned dollars that people send to St. Paul."
Zellers also says that he expects that there will be support for a state bonding bill, although it will be limited by the borrowing the state did last year.
The Vikings and lawmakers have been haggling over a stadium bill for nearly a year.
- Morning Edition, 01/23/2012, 7:20 a.m.