The team committed $427 million in private financing, with $150 million from Minneapolis sales taxes, and the balance, $400 million, from new taxes projected to roll in by allowing bars and restaurants that offer gambling to upgrade to electronic versions of some games.
Rep. Steve Drazkowski, R-Mazeppa, said opposition to the existing bill is widespread among fiscal conservatives in the House.
“Too many flaws, too many uncertainties,” Drazkowski said.
But Rep. Denny McNamara, R-Hastings, said he was hopeful the stadium would get 34 GOP House votes, if Democrats deliver the other 34 votes.
“There’s a lot of people that want to get it done,” McNamara said.
House Democrats are also split. The House’s newest member, Minneapolis Democrat Susan Allen, said she’d vote against the plan to keep a promise she made while running in a January special election. With more than half the children in her district living in poverty, the state would be better to invest in affordable housing, recreational facilities and youth programs, she said.
“I wouldn’t be able to defend my vote in light of all those circumstances,” Allen said.
But the House Democratic leader, Paul Thissen of Minneapolis, said he’d vote yes. “It’s the right thing for Minnesota,” Thissen said.
Zellers calls himself a Vikings fan who doesn’t want the team to leave, but said he nonetheless can’t support the current bill. He tried to straddle the issue in a Thursday afternoon interview on KFAN-AM in Minneapolis.
“I want to see it pass,” Zellers said of the bill. “I won’t vote for it, but I want to see it pass.”
The stadium bill could require two rounds of votes. If passed by the House, the Senate would act next _ but the Senate’s stadium bill is slightly different that the House’s version. So if the different bills pass, a conference committee would draft a compromise that would require second House and Senate votes to get to Dayton’s desk.
Associated Press writer Brian Bakst contributed to this report.