Don Davis has been the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau chief since 2001, covering state government and politics for two dozen newspapers in the state. Don also blogs at Capital Chatter on Areavoices.
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ST. PAUL -- It will be a Monday night football game like none other. The Minnesota Legislature plans to finally debate a Vikings stadium plan Monday, a debate many predict to last 12 hours in each chamber. The $975 million facility is the single largest construction project state lawmakers ever have considered. "The Vikings and the governor believe the votes are there," House Speaker Kurt Zellers, R-Maple Grove, said Thursday in announcing the plan for a Monday vote. However, in the past couple of days even some stadium supporters have doubted there are enough votes to pass the plan.
ST. PAUL -- The Vikings stadium saga illustrates tricks legislators use to turn their dreams into state law. The stadium construction plan needed to go through many committees, each examining part of the plan. Tax committees, for instance, were charged with looking at how the proposal dealt with a plan to change how charitable gambling is taxed. Local government committees needed to look at how the plan affected local governments. Each committee posed a challenge, and one House committee actually defeated the plan.
ST. PAUL -- A Vikings stadium construction bill that was gaining speed hit a number of roadblocks Wednesday, threatening its passage. Authors said they need to regroup. The Senate Finance Committee approved the bill 9-5 Wednesday, but added a proposal to allow casinos at the state's two horse-racing tracks as a backup funding source. It is a change Senate bill author Julie Rosen said could kill the measure. "We need to regroup and move forward," Rosen, R-Fairmont, said.
ST. PAUL -- The House joined the Senate Monday in wanting to allow more powerful fireworks in Minnesota. However, unless the Senate accepts House changes, negotiators need to work out differences. Newly legal fireworks would include bottle rockets and other aerial displays. One of the changes Rep.
ST. PAUL -- A Vikings stadium construction effort has fallen short for years, but a Friday meeting among NFL officials and Minnesota leaders produced the most progress so far. The plan that passed a Senate committee Friday night 8-6 faces tough votes in other committees.
ST. PAUL -- Don't believe everything you read, especially in sports blogs and columns about government issues. That is what some Minnesota politicians say after dealing with Vikings stadium issues for months, or years. For instance, in a week dominated by stadium news (a frenzy in some minds), Rep. Dean Urdahl, R-Grove City, was none too happy with a Star Tribune sports column critical of him for opposing a stadium.
ST. PAUL -- Vikings stadium talk reached a fever pitch Thursday in anticipation of the National Football League commissioner's Friday visit with a message that appeared likely to be: Build a stadium or lose the team. "There is a sense of urgency that I have not seen," stadium supporter Rep. John Kriesel, R-Cottage Grove, said. The heightened urgency came from a telephone call between Gov.
ST. PAUL -- A Minnesota House committee voted 9-6 Monday night against a bill to build a Minnesota Vikings stadium. While a bill always can be resurrected, the vote makes it very difficult to approve a new stadium in the final days of the 2012 legislative session. Legislative leaders want the session to end by April 30, and now the bill has lost in a House panel and is stalled in a Senate committee. Moments before the vote, Bill author Rep.
ST. PAUL - The end of the 2012 Minnesota Legislature approaches amid strong partisan disagreements. House Speaker Kurt Zellers, R-Maple Grove, called a recent letter from Democratic Gov.
ST. PAUL -- Prosecutors are happy to now have the same rights of other Minnesotans to carry guns. "Whether they need it or not, it is their right," said Rice County Attorney Paul Baumaster, president of the Minnesota County Attorneys' Association. However, before Gov. Mark Dayton signed a new law earlier this week, state law banned county attorneys and other public workers from carrying guns. The new law, crafted by Rep. Tony Cornish of Good Thunder and Sen.