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May 16, 2005

Local Government Committee: update

This committee is going to be a whole lot closer than I ever thought. First of all, there is no way they are going to finish tonight. They have 29 more amendments to deal with (most of them written by Lenczewski), and it is already 10:30. However, they just finished the biggest amendment of all: whether or not to include a referendum. Here is how the vote went (yes=for referendum, no=no referendum):

Olson: yes
Lanning: no
Hilstrom: no
Anderson: yes
Charron: yes
Cornish: yes
Garofalo: no
Holberg: yes
Hornstein: yes
Hosch: no
Lenczewski: yes
Marquart: no
Paymar: yes
Peterson: no
Poppe: yes
Samuelson: no
Scalze: no
Thao: no
Wardlow: no

So, the referendum amendment (submitted by Horstein) was defeated 10-9. It was a little nerve racking as the votes came in. Paymar "passed" on the first go around, waited until he could see that their would be enough "no" votes to defeat the referendum, and then he voted "yes." Of course, I'm not sure about his true intent with "passing" but it sure seems like a sneaky way to both support and not support this stadium bill.

Anyway, a 10-9 vote ... I'm not sure this bill is going to get out of Taxes without a referendum. We'll have to take a closer look at that tomorrow or later this week.

Now, the committee is debating whether or not to adjourn for the evening. Stadium supporters seem to be indirectly accusing Olson of trying to adjourn the meeting and by doing so delaying a vote to get the bill out of committee. Unfortunately, there is just no way they are going to finish tonight. It seems the vote will be delayed no matter what, and of course, this will delay its chances to get to the floor of the House.

UPDATE 1: Paymar is submitting an amendment that requires the Twins pay 50% of the ballpark rather than the roughly 30% they are paying now. That amendment was defeated 11-6. The Twins have said that a referendum is a "deal killer." I wonder if they would also consider paying more to be a deal killer. I suspect so.

UPDATE 2: Paymar is now submitting an amendment to use the stadium naming rights to help pay for the ballpark. The Twins say 1) it really isn't that much and 2) they gave up so much during negotiations that they fought to keep the naming rights. The amendment was defeated.

Posted by snackeru at May 16, 2005 10:48 PM | Stadiums



I used your Voter's Guide to look over the Tax Committee roster last week, and it's not good news for stadium fans. Phil Krinkie, of course, you already knew about, but the ranking DFLer in Tax is none other than Ms. Lenczewski.

All told, the Voter's Guide suggests that stadium backers are outnumbered 15-13 in Taxes. Even more significant, one of the 13 backers is Irv Anderson, who voted in favor of the referendum amendment in Local Goverment. I'd be surprised if he changed his vote once the bill hit Taxes.

Unless Sviggum can put some serious arm-twisting on the bloc of Taxpayer's League supported reps on the Tax Committee, I don't see how the bill can possibly leave that committee without a referendum amendment attached.

At that point, the only hope for a stadium would seem to be that a bill without a referendum can get through the Senate so that Sviggum can stock the House side of the joint committee with folks who would happily give up the referendum amendment in a 'compromise' solution.

Posted by: David Wintheiser at May 17, 2005 1:07 AM

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