The state House today will hold a hearing on the plan backed by Governor Jay Nixon to extend the debt on bonds that paid for the NFL stadium in St. Louis, to pay for a new one.
Representative Jay Barnes (R-Jefferson City) has asked to make a presentation on the state law that a stadium be built “adjacent” to the convention center.
“It doesn’t allow the stadium to be built where [Governor Nixon] proposes building it,” said Barnes of the location along the riverfront in St. Louis. “Second, it doesn’t allow the stadium authority to refinance it in a way that increases the amount of principal or interest owed.”
Barnes predicts if that plan is adopted, the legislature will propose not paying the debt on those bonds.
“Because what they want to do is roll the two together in a way that increases the amount of principal and interest owed, and I don’t believe the legislature will support that,” said Barnes who repeated, “second thing is I think it would be illegal for the legislature to appropriate those funds.”
Barnes said if the result is damage to the state’s credit rating, it will be the fault of the governor. Nixon said the blame would fall on the legislature.
A circuit judge in August ruled no public vote would be needed for that stadium deal to proceed. Many lawmakers have said they would oppose it and not pay debt on the bonds if no such vote is taken. That judge also ruled the law regarding the proximity to a convention center does not apply. That ruling is being appealed.
The hearing is this afternoon at 4. We’ll have it live at Missourinet.com.
At 10 this morning we’ll stream a hearing by the House and Senate budget committees on state assistance for Syrian refugees.