by T.W. Budig
ECM Capitol Reporter
Gov. Mark Dayton and Republican legislative leaders emerged late morning on Friday, Oct. 28 after about a two hour meeting on the Vikings’ stadium. The lawmakers spoke of making progress on the stadium issue, but reported no breakthroughs.
“It remains to be seen,” said Dayton of whether he will call a special legislative session in November to address the stadium.
Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch, R-Buffalo, while noting a special session was the governor’s call, cautioned against having one for the moment.
“I wouldn’t say we’re ready for that at this point,” she said, speaking to reporters outside of the Governor’s Office along with Dayton and House Speaker Kurt Zellers, R-Maple Grove.
Dayton said he and the leaders hadn’t taken any ideas off the table , and were intent on gathering information, refining the proposals.
Dayton indicated he was reluctant to speak of individual proposals, because then it might reported he favored them.
“I’m not opposed, but I’m not for it,” he said of one funding idea. No final decisions were made.
Still, Dayton styled a new stadium, if properly funded, as offering a “tremendous” economic boost to the taxpayers of Minnesota.
Any stadium solution would need to have bipartisan support, the leaders indicated.
Zellers echoed the sentiments expressed by the governor — there were no “earthshaking” moment in the meeting but the discussions were constructive.
Dayton indicated he and the legislative leaders would meet again next week, though offered no exact time.
The Governor’s Deer Opener is next weekend in Biwabik.
The meeting topped off a series of stadium-related press conferences at the State Capitol this week, with Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak pitching his stadium proposals and a bipartisan group of lawmakers appearing to speak out against any expansion of gambling.
Senate Minority Leader Tom Bakk, DFL-Cook, did not attend this meeting but sent a representative, according to a Dayton spokeswoman. House Minority Leader Paul Thissen, DFL-Minneapolis, was in attendance.