Republican leaders noncommittal on newest Vikings’ stadium proposal
by T.W. Budig
ECM Capitol reporter
The media blitz unleashed by the newest Vikings’ stadium proposal hasn’t nudged Republican leaders off familiar rhetorical ground.
House Speaker Kurt Zellers, R-Maple Grove, and Senate Majority Leader David Senjem, R-Rochester, offered cautious, let’s-wait-and-see
comments to questions today (March 2) regarding the stadium.
Indeed, Senjem indicated that it was almost “premature” to say anything at all about the latest proposal. He spoke of a “huge learning curve” that everyone needed to travel.
Zellers, too, cited a series of unknowns — what the Minneapolis City Council might do — that made it “very difficult” to offer an opinion on the stadium.
But Sen. Terri Bonoff, DFL-Minnetonka, who has been working on the stadium issue and stood not far from the Wilf brothers in the Governor’s Reception Room on Thursday when the proposal was presented, styled Zellers’ comments as disingenuous.
“I think it’s a dodge,” she said.
The basic concepts in the proposal have been known for a number of weeks, she explained.
“Sometimes you have to take votes that aren’t easy,” Bonoff said.
She would be “very surprised” if lawmakers went home from legislative session without voting on the stadium, explained Bonoff.
The legislation is being drafted today, she said.
In other matters, Senjem indicated the Senate bonding bill will have more bonding dollars directed towards higher education than found in Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton’s bonding bill.
But Senjem has also indicated the Senate bonding bill will be smaller than the governor’s $775 million bill.
In talking about the upcoming week, Senjem indicated the Senate would be taking up noncontroversial bills on the Senate floor.
In the area of the outdoors, Sen. Paul Gazelka, R-Brainerd, will be taking gray wolf hunting and trapping season legislation before the Senate environment committee on Tuesday.
Sen. Amy Koch, R-Buffalo, is bringing a resolution before the Senate energy committee on Tuesday urging the President and Congress to enact legislation and take other federal government action related to interim storage of used nuclear fuel.
Some of the legislation percolating in the House this coming week includes an environmental permit streamlining bill, state rule making reform legislation, legislation providing mayoral control of the St. Paul and Minneapolis school districts, and Republican Rep. Mary Kiffmeyer’s proposed Photo ID constitutional amendment.
On another matter, a Dayton Administration official has indicated the governor will veto the Defense of Dwelling and Person Act of 2012, or Castle doctrine bill, on Monday.
Dayton has long indicated his uneasiness with the self-defense legislation opposed by a number of law enforcement associations.
The governor is a gun owner.