The Republican chair of the House Capital Investment Committee is praising the proposal for a new ballpark for the St. Paul Saints.
Rep. Larry Howes, R-Walker, also sits on the House Jobs and Economic Development committee, which Thursday gave the proposal its first legislative hearing of the session.
Howes told ballpark supporters he agrees Midway Stadium needs replacing, and it makes sense for the state to help pay for it.
"Government has roles beyond just making the stoplights work and having curb and gutter, but also having something for the people to do," Howes said. "The private sector can't do everything. And I think you have a wonderful project. I'm not going to say I thoroughly support it, but you've got 99 percent of me."
DFL Gov. Mark Dayton put the Lowertown St. Paul ballpark in his proposed bonding bill. Under the proposal, the state would put $27 million dollars toward the project, which would cover about half of its cost, with the city of St. Paul and the team covering the remaining half.