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May 20, 2006

Saturday stadium bill updates

Hello everyone. Just checking in to give you some updates that I've heard and read. First, I've heard that the votes probably won't happen until late afternoon at the earliest and more than likely they'll probably happen in the evening sometime. From my perspective, though, I hope they happen soon because it appears that there are still efforts underway to unrail the stadium plan.

Eric Eskola reported on WCCO radio early this afternoon that some out-state legislators are threatening to withold their votes from the Twins bill unless there own pet projects are given the go ahead. I don't have any specifics at this point, but one project thatwas mentioned was improvements to a sports facility in Duluth which I guess did not get approved. Fortunately I don't think a vote lost here or there will matter much, especially with Steve Sviggum predicting as many as 80 votes on the House side.

Also, from "Black 47," the Star Tribune is reporting this troubling piece of news:

Before House and Senate lawmakers weighed in Saturday, a committee working on the tax bill provided some high drama on the stadium front. They nearly attached an amendment to that bill that would have allowed for a petition-driven referendum on the Hennepin County tax. Sen. Mee Moua, DFL-St. Paul, switched her vote at the last minute, killing the measure.

Like I said, final passage of this Twins bill and the end of the session can't come fast enough as far as I am concerned. There is always a chance for someone to screw things up.

JimJ also points some important realities in a comment below in that while Tim Pawlenty's signature on the bill may look like the end of our troubles, we still have to get past a final vote of the Hennepin County Board of Commissioners. They will be the final vote on whether to proceed or not with the plan. So, during this summer they will hold three public hearings and then vote on the final plan. Luckily the bill that should pass the legislature today is almost identical to the bill that they originally negotiated with the Twins. Their final vote is really nothing more than a protective measure that gives them an out in case they don't agree with what comes out of the Minnesota Legislature. I think it is safe to say they'll agree with this bill.

And as Jeff A points out, monkeys are getting ready to fly out of my butt. Back in March I made the joke that if everything happened to the point where the first shovel full of dirt is dug, monkeys will fly out of my butt. So Jeff, I must point out that the monkeys will remain until dirt is dug. The monkeys are sad, but they understand what is at stake here.

More later...

Posted by snackeru at May 20, 2006 2:12 PM | Stadiums 2006


Even at this point, I am best cautiously optimistic.

Posted by: matt at May 20, 2006 2:51 PM

I also am no better then cautionsly optimistic. This is truly the most dysfunctional body in America. They have longer sessions than almost any state in the U.S. yet accomplish less.

The biggest thing that keeps me optomistic is the fact that all of the leaders have esstionally said its a done deal. If they screw it up now they will look like complete fools.

However, if they do screw it up, I believe the Twins are definatly gone. If this doesn't pass this year, it never will, and I think the Pohlads will give up and sell to the highest bidder, and I wouldn't blame them one bit. And the highest bidder will almost certainly not be someone who wants to keep the team in MN.

Posted by: David Howe at May 20, 2006 3:54 PM

The Gopher stadium has just passed the Senate

Posted by: David Howe at May 20, 2006 5:03 PM

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