State Sen. Julie Rosen has been in the Senate for a decade, but her prominence reached a pinnacle last spring when the Fairmont Republican ushered a bill through the Senate to build a new $975 million football stadium.
Diehard fans of the Vikings, who expected the team to leave Minnesota as soon as next year without a new stadium, applauded Rosen (and House stadium sponsor Morrie Lanning and Gov. Mark Dayton) for leading the bill through a legislative minefield. Her fellow lawmakers offered mixed reviews.
“It is vastly improved for the taxpayers of Minnesota,” a Minneapolis Democratic senator said on the Senate floor. “... You’ve done a marvelous job keeping this on track.”
Republican Sen. Al DeKruif, R-Elysian, had a very different view of the process by which the legislation moved through the Legislature: “I don’t know if they were broken, but there certainly were rules that were bent.”
As Rosen runs for a fourth Senate term, though, the high-profile stadium bill isn’t emphasized by her or her opponent — rural Eagle Lake Democrat Paul Marquardt. The stadium bill was only the grand finale of 48 bills Rosen sponsored and passed during the 2011-12 legislative session.
“It was a very productive last two years,” said Rosen, who credits her work ethic, her personality and her experience for her legislative success. “You have to build relationships and learn how to get things done.”
Marquardt isn’t critical of the stadium bill (other than Rosen’s failure to get a more iron-clad guarantee that the Vikings would keep their training camp in Mankato). His primary complaint isn’t even with Rosen herself as much as with the Republican majority she supports.
“They got hung up on constitutional amendments that were just a complete waste of time and taxpayer money,” said Marquardt, a retired union plumber. “... They created no jobs. And on top of that, we lost our homestead credit.”