ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Minnesota Senate leaders on Thursday night scrapped
a plan to vote on a bill to build a new ballpark for the Twins, instead
unanimously approving a non-binding resolution saying the state wants to
keep the team. Sen. Roy Terwilliger 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
Some lawmakers were angered that no vote was taken.
"I think it's a very sad day for the Minnesota Senate," Sen.
Steve Novak said. He said there was "no conceivable explanation"
for not voting on a bill.
Sen. Ed Oliver said the Legislature probably hasn't seen the last of
"I hope that we can deal with it in 1999," he aid.
Twins owner Carl Pohlad has yet to sign 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.
Any sale or move would have to be approved by three-fourths of AL owners
and a majority of NL owners.