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Hoffman talks bonding bill, Vikings stadium

Photo by Rachelle Klemme Senator Gretchen Hoffman (R-Vergas), right, addresses area constituents, including Danny Goeden, left, during a town hall meeting in the basement of Wadena Pizza Ranch May 12.

The Vikings stadium and bonding bill were among the topics brought up in a May 12 town hall meeting, held by Minnesota Senator Gretchen Hoffman (R-Vergas) and legislative assistant Ken Swecker, who represented Minnesota Senator Paul Gazelka (R-Baxter).

About a dozen constituents gathered in the basement of the Wadena Pizza Ranch for the 2 p.m. meeting.

Gazelka was unable to make the meeting, due to an emergency.

Hoffman said she and Gazelka voted against the bonding bill, which she described as huge and full of metro area pork.

Hoffman made an amendment to put the Wadena Regional Health and Wellness Center back in the bonding bill, but the amendment failed, and the Wadena project was left out of the bonding bill.

Additionally, Hoffman said Wadena representatives did what they were supposed to do with the project by bringing the budget down and asking for less money.

The Vikings stadium bill passed, Hoffman said, adding that she and Gazelka voted against the bill.

Hoffman called the stadium bill "the longest debate in the history of the Senate."

No state has proven that gambling is an effective way to pay for large projects, Hoffman said, adding that gambling and tobacco taxes are regressive.

Also, Hoffman said the Vikings stadium should be treated like any other business, and the issue was not split on conservative and liberal lines.