In 1997, Sacramento borrowed $73 million to buy local Arco Arena from the Kings. Now, a decade and a half later, rumors abound that the team will skip town, and speculation is that they’ll skip out on paying back the loan.

State Legislators have stepped in with emergency legislation to make sure that doesn’t happen.

In a rare demonstration of bipartisanship, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have sponsored legislation that would prevent a sports team from signing agreements with other local governments until all debts are retired. While the bill may not be retribution, it certainly guarantees payback.

From the Sacramento Business Journal:

Bipartisan state legislation has been introduced that would prevent pro sports franchises – including the Sacramento Kings- from relocating without first paying off their municipal debts.

Senate Bill 652 was authored by Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, Assemblyman Roger Dickinson, Sen. Ted Gaines and Assemblyman Richard Pan. All the leaders are from the Sacramento region.

The bill would prevent pro sports teams from signing agreements with other local governments if they haven’t first paid all money owned to the city from which it is moving, a statement said.

Read the full article here.