ST. PAUL -- A few loose ends and a clock-watching foe forced postponement of a key committee vote on a Twins stadium bill early Saturday.
After a day of delays, a hearing that convened just after midnight was adjourned at 1 a.m. when a legislator who opposes public help for the Twins raised a procedural objection to the late-night activity.
The House-Senate committee planned to return at 9 a.m. Saturday with hopes of advancing the proposal to the full Legislature, which must vote by Sunday at the latest.
The bill calls for the Twins to deliver $120 million off the bat -- more than one-third of the stadium's $330 million cost upfront -- and pay an annual rent of at least $10 million.
A plan approved by the House in March required an advance contribution of $165 million. The new bill lessens the upfront obligation, but an architect of it said the Twins actually pay more.
Meanwhile, Gov. Jesse Ventura's veto threats didn't phase lawmakers crafting a bonding bill late Friday night.
"Whether the governor threatens this or not, that is not the way we should make decisions," Rep. Dave Bishop said about the measure a House-Senate conference committee approved unanimously by a voice vote.
Left out of the recommendations for the state to borrow money to fund is one of Ventura's highest priorities, the NorthStar commuter rail line, which would run from Minneapolis to St. Cloud. A last-minute vote on the issue failed.
Sen. Keith Langseth, the chief negotiator for the Senate, and his counterpart in the House, Rep. Jim Knoblach, both had supported the rail line and were disappointed in the outcome.
"I guess after all these months, I'm not that surprised," said Knoblach, R-St. Cloud.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.