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Senate Balks On Stadium Vote
Votes Thought To Be There, But House Uninterested; Resolution Supporting Team Staying Here OK'd

ST. PAUL, Posted 5:41 a.m. April 10, 1998 -- Senate leaders on Thursday night scrapped a plan to vote on a bill to build a new Minnesota Twins stadium, instead unanimously passing a non-binding resolution saying the state wants to keep the team.

Sen. Roy Terwilliger, R-Edina, was the sponsor of the bill that would have built a riverfront ballpark in Minneapolis using fees derived from the facility such as team rent, a game-day parking tax and a surcharge on player income taxes.

"I think we had the votes" to pass it, Terwilliger said.

But he said he didn't want to take up valuable floor time on the final day of the legislative session. Instead, he offered a resolution, which carries no force of law, stating that the Twins are important and the state wants to enter serious negotiations to keep them without building a publicly financed ballpark.

Some lawmakers were angered that no vote was taken.

"I think it's a very sad day for the Minnesota Senate," said Sen. Steve Novak, DFL-New Brighton. He said there was "no conceivable explanation" for not voting on a bill.

Sen. Ed Oliver, R-Deephaven, said the Legislature probably hasn't seen the last of the issue.

"I hope that we can deal with it in 1999," Oliver said.

Twins owner Carl Pohlad has yet to complete a deal to sell the team to North Carolina businessman Don Beaver, who wants to move the team south.

A referendum is scheduled May 5 on a proposed restaurant tax that would help fund a new stadium for the Twins in the Winston-Salem, Greensboro and High Point area of North Carolina.