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April 21, 2006

I'm going to take some time to enjoy this

For those of you just joining "The Stadium Game" we still have a pretty long way to go. However, before I get into all that, I'm just going to take some time to revel in the victory of today. I mean, wow! A workable stadium bill, a bill that could actually result in a stadium, has passed through the House Taxes Committee! Am I dreaming?

And here is another wonderful thing: for the first time in about 10 years I am watching a Twins game with confidence that the Twins have a future in Minnesota. Do any of you have any idea what a wonderful feeling that is? Think about it ... by 2010 the Twins could be playing on green grass, under the sun, in a state-of-the-art brand, spanking new ballpark. That is nice to think about.

However, back to reality. The 2006 Twins stadium bill passed through the House Taxes Committee today and thanks to Myles (thanks Myles!) we know the votes went like this:

Yes(15): Anderson, Atkins, Brod, Davids, Dill, Dorman, Koenen, Lanning, Lesch, Marquart, Nelson, Rukavina, Sieben, Simpson, Westerberg

No(13): Krinkie, Lenczewski, Abrams, Bernardy, Davnie, Jaros, Erhardt, Howes, Knoblach, Kohls, Mullery, Vanderveer, Zellers

No Vote(1): Delaforest

So, I was two off in my prediction. Bernardy and Jaros didn't come through for us. And does anyone know why Jaros didn't vote at all? [Correction: As BT has already written, it seems Delaforest was absent (not Jaros), and he may have even stormed out.] I also found it humorous that Erhardt passed the first time his name was called, saw that the bill would pass without his vote, and decided then to vote No. It is probably a common practice, but I still think some legislators should grow a backbone.

One of the amendments on the bill does appear to be somewhat problematic. According to the Pioneer Press:

The Taxes Committee considered several amendments Friday in a hearing that was far more sedate than a boisterous Thursday meeting in Bloomington, where stadium proponents and opponents made their voices heard.

The committee passed one amendment capping Hennepin County's infrastructure spending to $90 million.

My opinion is that this is bad. But I'm going to ask around to get the straight skinny. From what I've read, though, the infrastructure costs are probably higher than $90 million. We'll see.

So, you might be wondering what happens next. Well, this was just another hurdle. Now the bill goes to the House Ways and Means Committee. I've also made some predictions for this committee, and again it doesn't look like this will be easy. Of course, I think it will pass, but it will be close.

What gives me a lot of optimism, though, is that Sviggum is making some bold statements that the bill could get to the floor of the House by Wednesday. For him to say that makes me think that it is expected the bill will mvoe through the Ways and Means Committee quickly. And if it gets to the floor, I predict the votes are there.

If it passes on the floor of the House, the Senate will start to move on it. But let's not think about that just yet. For now, I am going to be happy. I am going to revel in today's victory. So, have a good weekend everybody! Let's all enjoy some Twins baseball and start thinking about this again on Monday.

Posted by snackeru at April 21, 2006 8:50 PM | Stadiums 2006

Comments

Shane,

Rumor has it DeLaForest stormed out as the numbers became clear... Jaros and Erhardt and Howes all passed first time around... I believe they had committed to not be the deciding no votes.

excellent work on the blog my friend... back to work next week on ways and means.

Posted by: BT at April 21, 2006 11:18 PM

I don't want to get my hopes up... I'll have to be wedged into a seat at the new ballpark watching the first pitch of a home opener before I'm ready to believe.

BTW, thanks for the comments in my new blog. It's going to be fun.

Posted by: Kurtis at April 22, 2006 5:50 PM

A couple comments on this weekend's new ballpark news: According to the ballpark bill, Hennipen County will be responsible for funding a budget for the new public ballpark authority that will own and run the new ballpark. Let's start a groundswell right now to get our very own Greet Machine mastermind, Shane, appointed to that organization. Also, legistlator Dan Dorman of Albert Lee is my new favorite politician. After all 6 of the Minneapolis legislative delegation expressed conserns regarding the bill (and eventually voted against it), Dorman said that maybe the bill should be changed to keep the tax in Hennipen County but build the ballpark in St. Paul. Amen brother.
-Jiminstpaul

Posted by: Jiminstpaul at April 23, 2006 4:34 PM

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