The day after a House panel delivered the Vikings stadium push an apparently terminal blow, Gov. Mark Dayton raised the prospect of pushing the issue into the next legislative session.
“We’ve got to get a stadium next year or the Vikings will leave,” Dayton declared in a Tuesday morning news conference after meeting with GOP leaders. “We’ll get it next session if we can’t get it this session.”
Dayton’s comments raise new questions on whether the Vikings stadium — which has been left for dead many times over the past year only to re-emerge later on — will ultimately factor into the end-of-session politicking as GOP leaders hope to adjourn by the end of this month.
Dayton called Monday night’s vote — the bill failed to pass without recommendation on a 9-6 vote in the House Government Operations Committee — a disappointment. GOP leaders, meanwhile, sought to lay the blame on DFLers’ ability to offer more than one vote for passage.
“If I were the governor I’d be livid,” House Speaker Kurt Zellers said before Dayton’s news conference. “Right now, it’s up to the governor and the Democrat leader in the House.”
Dayton said Tuesday he met with DFL leaders earlier in the day before the vote, and said he’d be willing to lobby any of the members for their support. One DFLer, Dayton said, indicated “he’d be helpful” on the vote, “but wasn’t.” Another DFLer, Dayton added, didn’t return a phone call before the hearing Monday evening. He didn’t identify either member.