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Senate scraps plan for vote on Twins stadium
Associated Press

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 financed ballpark.

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 the issue.

"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.