Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Stadium bill stalled and therefore gambling expansion as well.

Though the Minneapolis city council now supports paying for a new Vikings stadium in Minneapolis, it appears efforts to pass the stadium lacks support where it counts the most - at the state legislature.

Legislators aren't too anxious to move ahead with the idea, partly because there's no clear plan on how to pay for it but there are other reasons as well.
The stadium cleared a large hurdle Monday when Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak announced that a majority of the City Council now supported the project, but there was little evidence Tuesday that the shift had created new momentum.

The political math for the stadium in Vandeveer's committee remains daunting.

Senate Minority Leader Tom Bakk said that four of the panel's six DFL members would support the project, meaning that at least four of the panel's eight Republicans would be needed for approval.

But in interviews Tuesday, four of the Republicans said they were either opposed to the legislation or had major unresolved concerns. Two other Republicans are sponsoring alternative legislation that opposes a direct public subsidy, and would limit any stadium help to a repayable state loan.

Even the one Senate Republican who said her objections were now resolved said she would rather have the House take up the Vikings stadium first. So far, the House has not scheduled a stadium hearing...

Sen. Benjamin Kruse, R-Brooklyn Park, said he did not see where the stadium's Republican support would come from on the panel. "I do not see myself as one of the four votes for the stadium" if gambling money is used for the state's stadium share, Kruse said. "I heard concerns from all of the [Republican panel] members."

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