Missouri state Sen. Ryan Silvey, a Kansas City Republican, has added his voice to a growing band of Republicans who are threatening to block bond payments on a new football stadium on St. Louis’ riverfront.
In a letter to Nixon Tuesday, Silvey said he remains deeply troubled by the notion that Nixon is proceeding with plans “without a vote of the Legislature, the citizens of Missouri or even local St. Louis Metro Area residents.”
Nixon, a Democrat, and other civic leaders are behind the $1 billion stadium. A portion of the funding would come from extending state and local bonds on the Edward Jones Dome.
The governor has dismissed concerns of lawmakers like Silvey as coming too late to have any meaningful impact.
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Silvey, a frequent thorn in Nixon’s side, sought an attorney general’s opinion that he said showed that the General Assembly would have no obligation to make payments on the bonds.
“The fact that you are proceeding to make promises of state funding, all the while knowing we are under no obligation to fulfill that debt, is dangerous and irresponsible,” Silvey wrote. “Furthermore, you are taking these steps without receiving public support and have even gone out of your way to limit public input.”
Silvey reminded Nixon that in 2005, lawmakers opposed funding for Kansas City’s stadiums. Instead, Kansas City voters backed a tax increase to cover the cost.
“Contrary to what some are trying to argue, I do not believe this is a St. Louis versus Kansas City issue. It is about presenting a fiscally responsible plan that gains the public’s support,” he said.
``To that end, I stand with my colleagues and will work to block any appropriation for the repayment of bonds that have not been approved by the General Assembly or the voters at large. I will also be offering a Senate Joint Resolution that takes this question directly to the people of Missouri to let them decide if building a new stadium in St. Louis is the most appropriate use of their tax dollars.”