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Senate Leader Senjem: time for stadium proposal to 'chug and churn' in the Legislature

Posted by: Rachel E. Stassen-Berger under Minnesota legislature, Minnesota state senators Updated: March 1, 2012 - 1:52 PM

Minnesota Senate Majority Leader Dave Senjem Thursday afternoon said the stadium proposal announced, may not be the deal that the Legislature passes.

"It will chug and churn and it will more than likely, maybe even change a little bit as it tries to find its path but I'm encouraged by the fact that we have a bill," Senjem, R-Rochester, said.

He said he and other lawmakers will dive into details.Although he is the Senate leader, he said he knew only the superficial generalities of the proposal.

"We are all going to be involved in somewhat of a steep learning curve of the next week or so," he said. "Now we are going to have something to work on."

Senjem, a backer of introducing casino-style gambling at race tracks, said that proposal may yet be linked to the stadium. Racino, as it is known, he said may re-arise if the state cannot raise enough money from expansion of pull tabs gambling in bars and restaurants, which stadium backers proposed to use to pay for the state's share.

"In my view I think if its a gaming option, I think it opens it up for a lot of Republicans to be accepting of that," said Senjem.

He said, in general, voters want lawmakers to get something done for the Minnesota Vikings. But he also noted that some Republicans are adamantly opposed to any expansion of gaming but others oppose the use of any so-called general fund dollars and the stadium proposal avoids doing that.

Senjem said the measure will soon move toward committee action and "any committee could, frankly, take the bill down...There is certainly no assurance at this point that it ever gets to the floor."

"We're just going to have to take the pulse of this thing as it moves along," he said.

 

 

 

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