Legacy money for Capitol fix
THUMBS DOWN: Using money from the Legacy Fund to restore the Capitol are you kidding? It's no joke. House Legacy Funding Division members heard a pair of bills Tuesday concerning Capitol preservation - one of which would pay for the proposed $241 million restoration by drawing money from the Legacy Fund - otherwise known as the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment - money that comes from a three-eighths of 1 percent sales tax approved by the voters in 2008. Of course, the Capitol building is important and is an iconic building, it is in every state, but by no means should the Legacy Fund be touched for its upkeep/improvement. The Legacy Fund was created to set aside dollars for our environment, our outdoors, our habitat, and our arts, not for the Capitol building. The sales tax revenue generated from the tax increase is distributed into four funds: 33 percent to the clean water fund; 33 percent to the outdoor heritage fund; 19.75 percent to the arts and cultural heritage fund; and 14.25 percent to the parks and trails fund. This state cannot get into the habit of sticking its hands into the Legacy pocket to pay for things that don't fit the purpose for which it was created. Last year, a House member raised the possibility of using the funds to pay for a Vikings stadium, and thankfully that proposal didn't get off the ground. Neither should this one. Yes, the fund can be used for preservation purposes, but we don't believe the Capitol is an appropriate entity to draw from this pool of money, and it's likely to be challenged legally. Capitol restoration should rely on funding in a bonding bill, not from the Legacy Fund.
Stadium issues, redux
THUMBS DOWN: Here we go again. Again. The Vikings stadium plan hit another roadblock Wednesday in its first committee hearing, as fears were raised about flaws in the funding plan. It might just be a temporary setback, but it's not a good sign considering how long it's taken just to get to this point. And the timing couldn't be worse for stadium supporters, as the committee deadline for passage is today. Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton, a stadium supporter, blames GOP leaders who haven't made the stadium a priority. Now those very leaders might have to consider waiving today's deadline - and there's no guarantee that will happen. Then what?
Vikings back at state
THUMBS UP: Congratulations to the Minneota girls basketball team, which took another shot at a Class A championship this year. They opened state tournament play with a 67-63 loss to Ada-Borup on Thursday afternoon, but the loss doesn't take away from another dominating year from the best Class A girls basketball team in the area. The Viking girls have created somewhat of a dynasty during the last few years and only built on it this season.