Sen. Schaaf Declares Position and Intention Regarding Funding for a Second St. Louis Football Stadium

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For Immediate Release:
Aug. 17, 2015

Contact: Sen. Rob Schaaf’s Office
(573) 751-2183

JEFFERSON CITY — Senator Rob Schaaf, R-St. Joseph, has declared his position and intention regarding state-backed bonding for a second St. Louis football stadium. The attached letter is being delivered to the governor, to the St. Louis Regional Convention and Sports Complex Authority (RSCSA), as well as to the public and media.

Along with other legislators, Sen. Schaaf is a plaintiff in a lawsuit filed to prevent the governor and the RSCSA from illegally issuing state-backed bonds for a second St. Louis football stadium. Recently, the Cole County Court removed the governor from the lawsuit and transferred the case to St. Louis.

Because of this, the RSCSA and members of the state’s stadium task force continue to argue that state-backed bonds can legally be issued; Sen. Schaaf said that it is important to give them fair warning of his intention to prevent appropriations for payments on bonds that include any funding for a second St. Louis football stadium, unless such bonds have been issued with the prior approval of the General Assembly or of the people.

“I firmly believe that more than two-thirds of the members of both the House and the Senate agree,” Sen. Schaaf said. The Senate voted 26-5 during the recent legislative session to keep language Sen. Schaaf added in committee to House Bill 5 prohibiting any bond payments for funding construction of a second St. Louis football stadium. But former House Speaker John Diehl forced removal of that provision by stalling passage until the provision was removed. Otherwise the language would have been included in the Fiscal Year 2016 budget.

“From conversations with members of the House who joined the lawsuit against the governor Nixon, I am confident that a similar percentage of House members also agree with me,” Sen. Schaaf said. “The governor is attempting to usurp the constitutional power granted to the Legislature by holding hostage the good credit of the State of Missouri, and we must not allow it. I want to be clear that if the governor and the RCSCA attempt to roll existing bonds into a new bond with added debt to finance new construction, I will work to zero out the $12 million line item for the Edward Jones Dome in next year’s budget. ”

Sen. Schaaf has scheduled the Senate General Laws Committee, which he chairs, to gather information next week regarding the process for bonding and the status of the RSCSA’s bonding efforts and project expenditures.