Missouri governor, Rams owner meet day before NFL meeting
Dec. 01, 2015
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon met with Rams owner Stan Kroenke Monday, the day before an NFL owners meeting in Dallas where teams will discuss putting a franchise in Los Angeles.
Nixon spokeswoman Channing Ansley confirmed the meeting at Rams Park but declined to comment further.
Owners of the St. Louis Rams, San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders are all exploring moves to Los Angeles. Members of a task force appointed by Nixon have been working for months to develop a counterproposal to Kroenke's efforts to move the Rams, but there's been little or no contact between Nixon and Kroenke until Monday.
The governor and Kroenke met the same day lawmakers blasted plans for a new stadium during a House Budget Committee hearing in Jefferson City.
Nixon's push for a new stadium has frustrated some lawmakers, who either want a say in the matter or want such a plan to go to a vote of the people.
For almost an hour Monday, lawmakers questioned Administration Commissioner Doug Nelson about the finances of the proposal and the potential impact on the state's credit rating if the Legislature refuses to budget money to pay off debt for a new stadium.
Nelson answered few of their questions. He said he's never met with task force member Dave Peacock, said it's unclear whether lawmaker refusal to pay off stadium debt would hurt Missouri's high credit rating and questioned whether the Rams will move.
Rep. Genise Montecillo, D-St. Louis, panned Nelson's responses and said the budget committee has been stonewalled.
"You're asking the people to foot the bill of a very expensive stadium for a lot of unknowns," Montecillo said.
Nelson said his involvement is limited.
"What I'm telling you is what I know," Nelson said. "I'm not going to guess, I'm not going to assume and I'm not going to make it up."
Republican House Budget Committee chairman Rep. Tom Flanigan said lawmakers also invited Peacock to attend the hearing, but he didn't show up. Peacock did not immediately respond to The Associated Press' requests for comment Monday.
AP Sports Writer R.B. Fallstrom contributed to this report from St. Louis.