MARSHALL - Stadium fatigue for most legislators, as well as the general public, set in a long time ago, and it appears that things could come to a head Monday, as the stadium bill will finally get its shot on the floor when legislators will vote on whether or not to pass the celebrity-like bill.
The House and Senate will vote on the stadium proposal Monday. District 22 Sen. Doug Magnus, R-Slayton, who has worked closely with stadium bill author Sen. Julie Rosen, thinks there will be enough votes from both chambers for the stadium bill to pass. The bill's fate will ultimately rest on some major backing from minority Democrats in both the House and Senate.
"In my estimation there will be enough votes there for the Vikings bill to pass on bipartisan support," Magnus said. "I support getting the Vikings bill done, but I want to look at it again to make sure we can get it done."
The bill needs 68 House votes and 34 in the Senate to pass.
"Right now, there's still a lot of jockeying going on trying to come up with a bill that has the votes," said District 21 Sen. Gary Dahms, R-Redwood Falls. "We'll see how it plays out in the next day or two."
The stadium issue, rarely out of the public eye during this year's session, picked up even more steam this week when Republicans offered, then withdrew, proposals to build a roofless stadium and pay for it with general fund monies.
"The problem this week has been we keep on having more cooks wanting to jump into the kitchen here," Magnus said. "These folks have all kinds of reasons not to support things, we fix that, then they dream up another reason to be against it."
In a news release Thursday, Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton said he is pleased Republican legislative leaders have agreed to his request for up-or-down votes on what he has dubbed a new "People's Stadium" he says would provide jobs for several thousand Minnesotans and keep the Vikings here.
"Now everyone will be able to hold legislators accountable for that momentous decision," Dayton said. "I will continue to do all I can to convince them that this is a good deal for Minnesota, the best deal available, and much better than the alternative: losing thousands of jobs, losing the Vikings, and losing the 'Can Do' spirit, which is Minnesota."
Under the proposal, the Vikings would put up $427 million for the $1 billion stadium to be built on the Metrodome site and opened in 2016. The remaining costs would be covered by already-existing sales taxes in Minneapolis, along with $400 million from the state that would come from expanded gambling.
"I want to get it voted on and we need to get it passed, but we need to make sure when we do it we have the votes," Dahms said. "I think we're gonna get one bite at the apple. If it gets voted down it will be very hard to get it back up next session. We need to proceed with caution so people feel comfortable with the end product."
The Associated Press reported there is a chance the plan could require two votes in the House and Senate. If the chambers pass different plans, they would have to work out a common bill in a conference committee and vote again to send it to Dayton.