Republicans Propose New Plan for Vikings Stadium; Democrats Skeptical

By KBJR News 1

Republicans Propose New Plan for Vikings Stadium; Democrats Skeptical

May 3, 2012 Updated May 3, 2012 at 10:43 AM CST

St. Paul, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) --- Two days after Republican legislative leaders unveiled their financing proposal for a new Vikings stadium, Governor Mark Dayton and DFL leaders are saying that they are open about this new funding plan.

However, Democrats are still skeptical about the timing and details of the proposal which includes funding for the football stadium coming from this year's bonding bill instead of charitable gaming revenue such as electronic pull tabs.

If the this new proposal is taken up by the legislature, it would combine the Vikings stadium bill and the bonding bill, thus bringing down the number of crucial bills that need to be passed in this session from 3 to 2.

The Republican's proposal would also bring down the amount of money the state would pay to build the stadium, however Republican leaders have not said how much their stadium proposal would cost. This new plan would also call for an open-air, "roof ready" facility.

House Majority Leader Matt Dean (R-Dellwood) says that this new stadium plan would lessen the concern of the expansion of gambling in the state and would instead rely on general obligation bonds.

Governor Dayton originally called this new stadium proposal "hare-brained", however is now appearing to be more open about the Republican's stadium plan.

The governor said that he is willing to look at other options as long as lawmakers come up with a stadium that is "structurally sound and financially sound" and that can bring thousands of jobs to the area and keep the Vikings in Minnesota.

Some DFL leaders are concerned that lawmakers are turning their backs on eight months of stadium negotiations and instead looking at a proposal that was created in secret.

Democratic leaders also went on to say that they would like to see what happens with the agreements that are already on the House and Senate floors that have already been through debates and negotiations in committees.

As of yesterday, Governor Dayton said that no further meetings with legislative leaders has been scheduled. Republicans leaders plan to meet with fiscal staff and officials from Minnesota Management & Budget to delve into greater detail about their proposed Vikings stadium plan.

Posted to the web by Krista Burns