“Vikings Got Bailed Out, We Got Sold Out!”

Members of the Welfare Rights Committee managed to interrupt the feel good bill signing moment at the Minnesota Capitol today by chanting such anthems as, “Kids Cannot Eat Footballs!” and “Shame on You Governor Dayton.”

Governor Mark Dayton was signing a bill authorizing public funding of a new stadium for the Minnesota Vikings NFL football team.

Says Lena Buggs, “Why would you fund a losing franchise at the sake of poor and working families here who are struggling to make it. Last time I checked, kids cannot eat footballs.”

The Committee responded to Governor Dayton’s promise that this will create thousands of jobs by countering that most of those jobs will be lower paying and temporary. While construction jobs are temporary, stadium builders claim that there will be thousands of new hospitality positions available once it’s built. Those claims are still not enough to satisfy Welfare Rights Committee activists, who have been vocal all session long about helping poor and working families.

Video: protest and Governor Dayton signs stadium bill
Above: protest. Below: Governor signs bill.

They’ve called for the resignation of Representative Mary Franson after she characterized welfare recipients as animals- a statement she said was taken out of context. They have also been opposed to numerous additions set forth in the Minnesota Legislature that would, as they claim, “make it harder for working and poor families to make ends meet.”

The Welfare Rights Committee claims that the stadium is being built with general operating funds while legislators claim there isn’t enough money for social programs. While there was talk of using General Obligation bonds with the plan set forth by Republican leaders, it ended up on the chopping block. General operating funds aren’t being used to fund the stadium. Vikings leaders were also asked to contribute $50 million more dollars to the deal.

Now that the legislative session has ended, Committee members will use this time to re-group and focus on upcoming issues in the 2013 session.

Governor Dayton signs stadium bill. Bill author Senator Julie Rosen and Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak comment.

Allison Herrera

Allison Herrera, originally from San Luis Obispo, Calif.,  studied media and Spanish at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Wash., where she earned her bachelor s. Since moving to the Twin Cities, she has been a news producer for KFAI Fresh Air Community Radio, communications coordinator for Twin Cities Public Television's arts series MN Original, and producer for the Association of Minnesota Public and Educational Radios Stations for the series MN90: Minnesota History in 90 Seconds.

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