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All quiet from Minnesota legislature

It's been more than a month the Minnesota state legislature convened. If you're wondering why you have heard next to nothing about Minnesota's potential stadium proposal, I can offer you two facts that help craft an explanation:

  • Like most states, Minnesota is facing a budget deficit that approaches nine figures. Last week, the deficit was pegged at $994 million. That means legislators must cut nearly $1 billion from last year's budget to break even. In that environment, it's hard to draw attention to a proposal that would require at least $600 million in public money.

  • Two state-wide polls conducted in the past five months indicate that about one-third of Minnesotans favor using public money for a new Vikings stadium. Here's more on the St. Cloud State poll from last fall, and here is a link to the KSTP-Ch. 5 poll conducted more recently. How many politicians do you know who would advance a proposal that two-thirds of voters don't favor?

The Vikings now have two years left on their Metrodome lease, which expires after the 2011 season (with or without a lockout). I've always assumed this issue wouldn't be dealt with until it reaches crisis proportions, which means nothing is going to happen anytime soon.