Sen. Julie Rosen: 'Best stadium bill ... ever'by Cathy Wurzer, Minnesota Public Radio
ST. PAUL, Minn. — A bill to build a new Vikings stadium is scheduled to be formally introduced Monday. And committee hearings on the proposal are likely begin this week.
The bill to build a $975 million stadium draws on funding from the state, the city of Minneapolis, and the Vikings. On Sunday, Gov. Dayton put the bill's chances of passing the legislature at 50-50.
Cathy Wurzer talked with state Sen. Rosen about the bill's chances.
Rosen, of Fairmont, is the lead author of the Senate version of the bill. She said the legislation's chance of passage is better than the odds Dayton predicted over the weekend.
"As we've been saying all along, this is not an easy package to put together. But it is put together. It's a good bill. Anybody's who's had a chance to read it has said, you know, this is the best stadium bill we've had on the table, ever," she said.
The bill relies on about $400 million from the state, $150 million from Minneapolis and $427 million from the Vikings.
"There is a great interest, a great desire to just get this thing done," Rosen said. "That's what I hear when I go out around the state and amongst my constituents. And that's what other senators are hearing from their constituents. Just get the thing done."
One stumbling block outside the Legislature's control: The current bill appears to waive a Minneapolis requirement that any stadium financed with more than $10 million of taxpayer money must first receive voter approval.
Seven of 13 Minneapolis City Council members are on record opposing city funding without that referendum. But Rosen said, "That has been waived in the last 20 years umpteen times."
Rosen said she hopes the bill will get its first hearing on Wednesday. The Legislature's self-imposed deadline for bills to get a hearing is Friday.
- Morning Edition, 03/12/2012, 8:20 a.m.