A key member of the House budget committee became the latest Republican lawmaker to promise to block funds for a new NFL stadium in St. Louis unless the funds are approved by popular vote or allocated by the legislature.
Rep. Scott Fitzpatrick, R-Shell Knob, is vice chair of the House select committee on the state budget. In a letter to Gov. Jay Nixon, a Democrat, he said he won’t support any budget bill next year that includes funding for debt service on bonds issued for a new riverfront stadium in St. Louis.
Nixon has long maintained that he’ll be extending the existing bonds for the Edward Jones Dome stadium to include the new stadium planned for the North St. Louis riverfront.
Earlier this month, St. Louis circuit judge Thomas Frawley ruled that voter approval is not necessary for public funds to be used to finance a new stadium.
While several lawmakers say they disagree with the court ruling, some have publicly promised to oppose any budget bills that include payment on the new bonds. Rep. John McCaherty, R-Murphy, joined the growing number of state lawmakers Friday asking for a public vote on stadium financing, calling on Nixon to reconsider his plans due to state budget and credit concerns.