Dayton urges lawmakers to act on bonding bill, stadium

Gov. Mark Dayton
Gov. Mark Dayton discusses the proposed Vikings stadium in this file photo.
MPR Photo/Jeffrey Thompson

DFL Gov. Mark Dayton says there are a number of projects he's hoping to see included in a bonding bill.

The Legislature is trying to wrap up the session this weekend and still lack deals on key pieces of legislation, including a bonding bill that would pay for public construction and renovation projects.

Dayton said Tuesday on MPR's Morning Edition that he'd like to see passage of a bonding bill that would include upkeep of University of Minnesota and MnSCU buildings, as well as several city-specific projects.

"The downtown projects in Rochester, Mankato, and St. Cloud and then the Saints ballpark in St. Paul which is a downtown redevelopment project and Minneapolis Nicollet Mall," Dayton said. "Downtowns, as I've learned from my family, are just crucial not only to the economic vitality of those cities but also to those regions."

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Dayton said he would be willing to approve a business property tax reduction advocated by Republicans if they'd spend more on a bonding bill.

The governor also said if the Legislature doesn't pass a Vikings stadium bill this session, there's a strong possibility that the Vikings' owners will move the team.

He said it's unclear whether the prospects of passing a stadium bill would be any better if the Legislature continued in a special session.

"Now's the time to do it," he said. "They have actually three more weeks in this session by the constitution. If they aren't going to do it now, I don't see any promise that it would be any different later."

The Minnesota Legislature is aiming to wrap up its work this weekend but technically lawmakers could keep the session going until May 21.