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ST. PAUL -- Two weeks are left in the Minnesota legislative session and it is not pretty. "If we don't get done on time, members, the blame lies at the feet of the governor," Rep. Morrie Lanning, R-Moorhead, told fellow representatives hours after a meeting among he, another lawmaker and Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton abruptly ended. Dayton invited Lanning and Sen. Mike Parry, R-Waseca, to a meeting about negotiations on their state government spending bills. "He basically wanted to lecture and scold us," Lanning said in an interview.
ST. PAUL -- Minneapolis proposes building an $895 million Vikings football stadium on the Metrodome site, but two key legislative supporters wonder if there is enough time for the Legislature to approve a stadium. A competing proposal from Ramsey County is expected to be unveiled in the next couple of days. Rep. Morrie Lanning, the chief author of the House stadium bill, said he is glad both Minneapolis and Ramsey County are engaged with stadium discussions.
ST. PAUL -- The Minnesota Vikings' stadium-construction proposal still has not had a hearing in front of the Legislature, but that has not stopped the team's push from making news. Gov.
ST. PAUL -- The Minnesota Legislature is considering financing two-thirds of a new Vikings football stadium with taxes and other public funds, about average for football venues built or renovated in the last 14 years and in the middle of those in comparable markets. More than half of the National Football League's 32 markets have built or renovated stadiums since 1997 with taxes on lodging, car rentals, hospitality, food and beverage and other public sources covering an average of 62 percent of the costs, according to the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission, which owns the Metrodome.
MINNEAPOLIS - Former state Rep. Steve Sviggum figures serving on the Board of Regents, which sets policy and direction for the University of Minnesota, is likely a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. So, when forced by a committee of regents to choose between that no-pay job and an $80,000-per-year teaching job with the university's Humphrey School of Public Affairs, he chose principles over paycheck. "Service is important," Sviggum said.
ST. PAUL -- Legislative bills to build a football stadium and keep the Minnesota Vikings in the state for the next 40 years are being introduced today. A bill by Sen. Julie Rosen, R-Fairmont, was listed early today on the Senate's daily bill introduction list and an identical one by Rep.
ST. PAUL -- Discussion about Minnesota's budget trumped introduction of a Vikings football stadium bill. A Wednesday night television report indicated a bill has been written, but Rep. Morrie Lanning, R-Moorhead, said the report was based on an earlier version that he and Sen. Julie Rosen, R-Fairmont, are preparing. Lanning refused to talk about specifics in a bill that he now says will be introduced no earlier than Monday. "I cannot say when the bill is going to be dropped," he said, adding that he knows it has to be soon.
ST. PAUL -- The Minnesota House and Senate passed bills Tuesday that would fund a study of safe sulfate levels in wild rice waters, allocate state lottery funds toward environmental projects and create a fund that will help with management of state-owned lands. The Senate bill spends $204 million of state tax money on the environment over the next two years while the House opted for $196 million. Rep.
ST. PAUL -- The first budget-cutting bill of 2011 could be on Gov.
ST. PAUL -- Gov. Mark Dayton today offered a unique proposal: The Legislature should pass a $1 billion public works funding bill, but the Democratic governor only proposed half of the projects. Dayton suggested the Legislature pick the other half of the projects. However, Republican leaders say they oppose a so-called bonding bill this year, other than disaster and other urgent needs. "I will sign what they send," Dayton said. "I can't force it to go higher." Among projects Dayton included in his public works proposal is the Newport Transit Center.