JEFFERSON CITY, MO (KPLR) – Republican efforts in Jefferson City to block the use of Missouri tax dollars for a new St. Louis stadium without a public or legislative vote moved ahead Tuesday. A public hearing on Senate Bill 580 took testimony from the bill's sponsor and a long time critic of state financing for stadiums. Former Democratic state representative Jeanette Mott Oxford joined with Republican bill sponsor Senator Rob Schaaf in advocating either a public or a legislative vote to authorize such expenditures.
Sen. Schaaf said allowing the St. Louis Regional Sports Authority to issue bonds for a new stadium violates the separation of powers requirement in Missouri's Constitution. Governor Jay Nixon insists he has the authority to allow the RSA to issue new bonds for a new stadium.
Mott Oxford has fought the concept repeatedly beginning with efforts by the St. Louis Baseball Cardinals to seek state help for a new Busch stadium more than a decade ago.
Sen. Schaaf expects the General Laws Committee of the Senate to send his bill to the full Senate Wednesday.
State Senator Joe Keavney of St. Louis said "there is no hurry with this bill.” He indicated it was inappropriate to push the measure forward while the NFL was still considering the request from rams owner Stan Kroenke to move the football team to Los Angeles.