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Sunday, April 16, 2006

Important Stadium Votes at the Legislature.....

The House Tax Committee will hear the Twins Stadium bill this week. If you are concerned about the wink and a nod agreements to not follow the law and allow for a referendum on the 30 year sales tax increase, contact the House and Senate Tax committee members right away.

Last week I sent the following e-mail to Commissioner Peter McLaughlin, who is my representative on the Hennepin County Board. I copied the two strongest stadium opponents on the board, Commissioners Koblick and Steele, as well as my House and Senate representatives in St. Paul.

Unless it is approved by a referendum, I do not support a sales tax increase for building a baseball facility.

After following this topic for the past year, I am very concerned that elected officials (at both the state and county level) are willing to propose and approve deals that violate the state statutes. It suggests that if compliance with a statute is inconvenient, or elected decision makers are feeling undue pressure to get something done, its okay to wink at everybody and ignore the law.

If that's the case, the bill that should be in front of the legislature is one that would repeal the statute requiring referendums for local sales taxincreases.

I did hear back from Commissioner Koblick, who suggested opponents contact the entire legislature. 80% of them do not represent Hennepin County, yet they stand ready to allow a tax increase for the county they do not represent.

Here are the members of the House Tax committee. All of the phone numbers have area code 651.

Chair: Philip Krinkie (R) 296-2907
Vice Chair: Dean Simpson (R) 296-4293
Lead-DFL: Ann Lenczewski (DFL) 296-4218
Ron Abrams (R) 296-9934
Irv Anderson (DFL) 296-4936
Joe Atkins (DFL) 296-4192
Connie Bernardy (DFL) 296-5510
Laura Brod (R) 296-4229
Gregory M. Davids (R) 296-9278
Jim Davnie (DFL) 296-0173
Chris DeLaForest (R) 296-4231
David Dill (DFL) 296-2190
Dan Dorman (R) 296-8216
Ron Erhardt (R) 296-4363
Larry Howes (R) 296-2451
Mike Jaros (DFL) 296-4246
Jim Knoblach (R) 296-6316
Lyle Koenen (DFL) 296-4346
Paul Kohls (R) 296-4282
Morrie Lanning (R) 296-5515
John Lesch (DFL) 296-4224
Paul Marquart (DFL) 296-6829
Joe Mullery (DFL) 296-4262
Peter Nelson (R) 296-5377
Tom Rukavina (DFL) 296-0170
Katie Sieben (DFL) 296-4342
Ray Vandeveer (R) 296-4124
Andrew "Andy" Westerberg (R) 296-4226
Kurt Zellers (R) 296-5502

Members of the Senate Tax committee are:

Chair: Lawrence J. Pogemiller
Vice Chair: David J. Tomassoni
Ranking Minority Member: William V. Belanger Jr.
Member: Thomas M. Bakk
Don Betzold
Debbie J. Johnson
Warren Limmer
John Marty
Mike McGinn
Mee Moua
Julianne E. Ortman
Rod Skoe

You can look up their contact information at