JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A measure limiting Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon's ability to use bond money to pay for a new St. Louis football stadium won approval in a Senate committee Wednesday.
The bill would stop the state from extending or issuing new bonds without approval from the Legislature of voters. Members of Nixon's administration have said he has the authority to extend payments on the existing Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis to pay for a new dome with hopes of enticing the Rams to stay or attracting a new team.
Officials are concerned about the team moving because Rams owner Stan Kroenke is working to build a new Los Angeles stadium. In January, the team went year-to-year on the lease for the Edward Jones Dome, which the state is still paying for.
Sen. Ryan Silvey, R-Kansas City, sponsored the bill that limits Nixon's bonding authority.
"I don't believe that one person should be able to put the state $200 million in debt," Silvey said.
Nixon has touted his efforts to broker agreements with labor unions to work around-the-clock without overtime and relocate infrastructure to prepare the way for a new stadium in St. Louis along the Mississippi River.
The governor told reporters last month that having an NFL team in St. Louis is important for the city and the state but that he won't put any new burden on taxpayers to pay for a new stadium. He said he's committed to getting private investments to help pay for it.
A House panel is examining the economic benefits of having an NFL team in St. Louis. Missouri economic development officials presented a report Monday that concluded building a new football stadium in St. Louis could bring nearly $300 million in net sales tax revenues to the state over the next 30 years. Republican lawmakers were skeptical of that report.
The Senate bill now goes to the full chamber for consideration.