The prospect of putting a plan for a new Vikings stadium before Ramsey County voters got a boost Thursday from a key lawmaker.
Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch, R-Buffalo, said she doesn't think the Legislature ought to exempt a stadium plan from a referendum if sales taxes are part of the financing package.
"I feel there should be a referendum," Koch said. "That was a concern I had with the Twins stadium proposal and I think there should be a referendum on this. I'd like to see that."
Koch's comments came just hours after a Ramsey County citizens panel said it was going to hold two public hearings on the matter in the next month and a half. Some members of the Ramsey County Charter Commission say they think the public ought to be able to decide if a proposed half-percent sales tax should be raised to pay for a Vikings stadium.
Koch said she wasn't speaking for the Republican caucus in the state Senate. But she did say a referendum would reflect the GOP's commitment to accountability for the state's taxpayers.
The Vikings have said that they don't want to wait for a potential referendum next year. At least one Ramsey County official has said a ballot question could kill a stadium deal.