Representative Genise Montecillo (D-St. Louis) believes Governor Jay Nixon (D) has been dodging lawmakers’ questions about his plan for the state to help pay for a new football stadium in St. Louis. She told Nixon’s Office of Administration Commissioner, Doug Nelson, she doesn’t like the idea of extending the debt on the bonds that paid for the Rams stadium.
“We continue to be met with a stone wall or brick wall, if you will, to our questions. It’s always I don’t know. I don’t have that information. I haven’t talked to these people. I don’t know what they’re going to do. We don’t know if they’re going to move. We don’t know if we’re going to have a football team. You’re asking the people to foot the bill of a very expensive stadium for a lot of unknowns. That seems to continue to be the position that you’re putting this budget committee in,” said Monticello.
“Well, I’m only going to tell you is what I know,” said Nelson.
“It’s unfortunate from my perspective anyway, that we continue to be in this adversarial position,” said Monticello. “The Governor sends people who conveniently can’t answer our questions or they conveniently don’t know. That’s not acceptable.”
“What I can tell you is a question that we’ve been asked that I have looked at and given my legal opinion. I think under Chapter 67, the Legislative branch gave the Executive branch the authority that we’re going to look at whether or not we’re going to exercise that authority,” said Nelson.
Nelson maintains that Nixon has the legal authority to extend the debt on those bonds but the Legislature has the authority to amend it.
Governor Nixon wants to build a new stadium but critics say the Rams’ future in St. Louis is uncertain and no agreements have been made to bring another team to St. Louis if they leave.
Numerous lawmakers have said they would oppose paying the debt on those bonds if they are extended, though the constitution requires state debt be paid.