UPDATE: Minnesota Senate Approves Vikings Stadium Bill
The State Senate approved the FINAL Minnesota Vikings Stadium bill Thursday afternoon, putting the controversial legislation on the desk of Gov. Mark Dayton.
UPDATE (Thursday, May 10, 2 p.m.) The Minnesota Senate has approved the conference committee recommendations on House File 2956, a bill providing funding for a Minnesota Vikings stadium.
Sen. Amy Koch (R-Buffalo), in her final act as a state legislator from District 19, voted "yes."
"You don't want to be part of the group that's responsible for losing the team. That's just not negotiable in my book," Koch, the former Senate Majority Leader, said last fall.
Koch was opposed to any general funding, and wanted a referendum on the bill. However, she softened her stance on the public vote when Minneapolis went to bat for the bill, and funding from that city was found via a tax extension, not the creation of new tax dollars.
The final vote was 36-30, in favor of the bill.
* * *
The Minnesota Vikings have crossed midfield on their march to a new football stadium in downtown Minneapolis.
The Minnesota Senate voted 38-28 in favor of its version of the controversial legislation to provide the team with about $350 million in state money to build the $975 million facility, with the other funding sources being the City of Minneapolis and the Vikings ownership group.
State Sen. Amy Koch (R–Buffalo) who represents Wright County, voted in favor of the bill. She turned to that side when a proposed amendment allowing for the City of Minneapolis to hold a referendum on the stadium was approved.
However, it's not clear the city will actually execute that, nor would it be required to under law.
Tuesday's vote came on the heels of a vote late Monday night in the Minnesota House of Representatives on its version of the bill.
The Minnesota House voted 73-58 to support a $975 million stadium plan that would provide a new facility for the Minnesota Vikings Monday.
In the House, 40 DFL members and 33 Republicans voted yes. Thirty-seven Republicans and 21 DFLers voted against the bill.
The conference committee would then work out differences between the House and Senate bills.
Gov. Mark Dayton expressed joy at the outcome, but noted three more positive votes must happen before he can sign a bill. “Our work is not done,” he said.