Historical Society lobbies against using Legacy Funds for stadium

The Minnesota Historical Society is urging their supporters to contact Gov. Dayton and the Legislature and ask them to not use Legacy funds to pay for a new Vikings stadium. The action comes less than a week after MPR News reported that some Republicans in the Legislature are looking to tap part of the Arts and Heritage portion of the Legacy Amendment to pay for the stadium.

Gov. Dayton hasn't completely ruled out using the funds to help pay for a portion of the state's contribution to the $1.1 billion stadium.

The threat of tapping up to $60 million a year for the Vikings Stadium has prompted concern from the Historical Society. The group, which receives funds from the Legacy Amendment, sent out an e-mail to supporters today urging them to take action on the issue:

While this concept is contrary to both the intent of the voters and the language of the constitutional amendment, it seems to be getting some consideration and should be taken seriously.

Please take a few moments to call the Governor as well as your legislator at their office, home, or both to express your opposition to using Legacy funds for a Vikings stadium. If you are not able to talk to your legislators directly and need to leave a phone message, please also send them an email to express your opinion. Make sure to mention that you are a constituent.

Voters amended the Minnesota Constitution in 2008 to increase the state's sales tax by 3/8ths of a percent and dedicate the money to the outdoors, clean water, parks and trails, arts and cultural activities.

Several members of the Legislature have objected to the idea. Sen. Dick Cohen, DFL-St. Paul, says he'll sue to prevent any attempt to use the funds for a Vikings stadium. DFL Senate Minority Leader Tom Bakk of Cook also said the measure has little support in his caucus.

"It would be very difficult to find Democratic votes for that," Bakk told MPR News. "Less than ten. Maybe less than five."

Minnesota Public Radio is one of hundreds of groups that receive money from the Legacy Amendment.

Dayton and lawmakers are looking to put together a package that could finance a stadium for the Vikings. Dayton says he'll release his plan the week of Nov. 7.

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