Thursday, October 27, 2011

Group of legislators say no to gambling expansion for new Vikings stadium.

A bipartisan group of legislators held a press conference to voice their opposition to an expansion of gambling to pay for a new Vikings stadium.

The group included Republican senators' David Hann, Warren Limmer and David Thompson, Democrat senators' Scott Dibble and Tony Lourey, and Democrat reps Ann Lenczewski, Diane Loeffler, and Frank Hornstein.

It attracted a lot of media attention because it's a hot issue, e.g. Vikings stadium, possible session on the issue and it brought together such an eclectic group of legislators.

It just goes to show how legislators one day will agree on one issue and the next will be on opposite sides of another issue.

Senator Hann pointed out that gambling revenues isn't free money but causes a lot of damage along the way.
In recent years, almost every budget challenge we’ve faced has been met with a call for more casinos,” said Sen. David Hann, R-Eden Prairie. “The proponents of gambling describe this as harmless fun, entertainment and, in effect, free money.

“None of that is true. In fact, casino gambling is highly destructive to individuals, [and] to families,” he said.
I think it will be hard to pass a new stadium funding plan in a November special session. Some legislators don't want a special session period. Others oppose the gambling. Others oppose the stadium. And others are nervous about spending hundreds of millions on a new stadium when the state is likely to face additional budget shortfalls.

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