It has been a year of political upheaval – the governor's office was handed to the Democratic Party for the first time in 20 years at the exact same time the House and Senate became a Republican majority for the first time in almost 40 years. The roles were reversed and the outcome was almost complete gridlock.
The Legislature had four months of work – not a bad annual gig really – and it accomplished nothing. Instead of the standard flurry of activity in the final hours, the two sides seemed resigned early in the final day that the omnipresent budget deficit that has dominated conversations during the session would not get completed.
As a result, the stadium bill not only wasn't discussed in front of the full houses of the Legislature, it didn't even get sent to a committee to get some basic framework issues hammered out. As promised when the stadium bill was introduced, the majority of legislators refused to even discuss the stadium bill until after the budget bill was approved. That time never came.
After four months of legislative session, it wasn't the opposition that shot down a Vikings stadium bill, it was the gridlock of political in-fighting and role-reversal that killed the stadium bill.
The Legislature now has 34 days before the State of Minnesota will see its 2011 fiscal year end and the state government potentially shut down. What has taken four months to get nowhere will now have one month to get done. The question many will be asking now is this: Will the stadium issue get heard at all when a special session is inevitably called?
John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.