SBD/5/Franchises

POLITICIANS IN LATE-INNING SCRAMBLE TO SAVE MARINERS

     WA's Attorney General yesterday issued a favorable opinion
that "removed a major obstacle" to a special legislative session
to consider financing for a new Mariners ballpark, according to
this morning's SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER.  The ruling will allow
WA Gov. Mike Lowry to call the session -- expected at the end of
this week -- without House Republicans allowed to override his
previous tax cut vetoes.  In meetings yesterday, legislative
leaders "appeared to be moving toward a proposal that would
enable King County authorities to issue bonds" as a way to cover
their $120M commitment to the stadium.  Lowry reportedly wants
the state's $120M commitment to also come from bonds rather than
a current budget surplus.  Meanwhile, King County officials
"remain concerned" about the $70M they already owe for Kingdome
roof repairs, as well as about how to finance $100M in dome
renovations demanded by the Seahawks.  County Executive Gary
Locke said if the state will not help pay, they should at least
give the county taxing authority to raise funds.  Locke also
believes the state should increase funding of the stadium because
they would receive 80% of tax benefits from a new facility
(Bruscas & Penhale, SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER, 10/5).
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