Capitol Update from Representative Denny McNamara

Rep. Denny McNamara (57B) and Rep. John Kriesel (57A) participate in the Vikings stadium debate yesterday.

By Rep. Denny McNamara, 5/8/2012

Hello from St. Paul,

On Monday, the Minnesota House of Representatives passed a capital investment plan that will fund construction projects across Minnesota, as well as a proposal that will keep the Vikings in Minnesota by helping them construct a new stadium.

This year’s bonding bill spends $496 million on statewide infrastructure needs. This includes $44 million to help restore our State Capitol building which is in dire need of repair; $46.5 million to the Department of Natural Resources, with $30 million dedicated to flood mitigation; $132.12 million for MnSCU asset preservation and replacement projects – including a provision for Dakota County Technical College in Rosemount; $64 million to the University of Minnesota for asset preservation projects; and $44 million for road and bridge projects.

As for the Vikings proposal, the team ownership would be responsible for paying $532 million out of the estimated $975 million cost, Minneapolis would add $150 million, and the State of Minnesota would contribute $293 million through expected revenue generated through the creation of electronic pulltabs. The stadium would be located in downtown Minneapolis near the current Metrodome site.

The bill also requires the stadium lease to be in place for 40 years instead of 30, and increasing the public share if the current ownership sells the team in the future, as a new stadium would significantly increase the overall value of the Minnesota Vikings.

The bill now heads to the Minnesota Senate for its approval. If the Senate gives it the green light, and it’s not identical to the House version, a joint House/Senate conference committee must be called in order to rectify the differences between the two proposals. That committee will then create a compromise proposal that can be approved in both the House and Senate before it is sent to Governor Dayton for his signature. In short, there’s a long way to go, but I’m confident we can make it happen.

I’m really pleased we approved both of these bills in the House with strong, bipartisan support. The bonding bill was agreed to by all leaders in the House and Senate along with Governor Dayton, so it will be signed into law shortly. As for the stadium plan, if the Senate passes the bill, I would expect the conference committee to have a final proposal ready for the House and Senate to vote on by early next week.

Keep in touch,
Denny

Representative Denny McNamara, House District 57B
Chair of the Committee on Environment, Energy
and Natural Resources Policy and Finance
375 State Office Building
100 Rev.Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
St. Paul, Mn. 55155-1298
Phone (651) 296-3135

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