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House Speaker suggests a vote on the Vikings stadium bill still possible this year

Republican Kurt Zellers told MPR if the stadium plan continues to move through committees "with some pretty good pace" he thinks a vote is still possible before the end of the session. Legislators return to St. Paul Monday after their 10-day Easter/Passover break.
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Republican Kurt Zellers told MPR if the stadium plan continues to move through committees "with some pretty good pace" he thinks a vote is still possible before the end of the session. Legislators return to St. Paul Monday after their 10-day Easter/Passover break.

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House slated to vote on original stadium bill Monday after Republicans drop alternative proposal

Next week, the full state House will vote on the previous Vikings stadium plan that uses gambling revenue to pay for the state's portion of the $975 million stadium. It's unclear if the legislation has the required 68 House votes or the 34 Senate votes needed to pass it. House Speaker Kurt Zellers says he personally opposes the bill.

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The House Ways and Means Committee advanced the $975 million stadium proposal without recommendation Monday night. A Senate committee is expected to hear a similar bill Tuesday. It could come up for a vote on the floor in both chambers by Friday.

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The Minnesota Vikings' stadium bill advanced through the House Commerce and Regulatory Reform Committee on a divided voice vote Monday night. The bill, revamped slightly, includes expanded gambling via electronic pull tabs and bingo at bars and restaurants, along with sports-themed betting "tip boards."

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After ten hours of hearings regarding the Vikings' stadium, the state Senate went home today with some bad news for the Vikings. Governor Mark Dayton doesn't believe there will be a special session to vote on a stadium bill. In fact, he says there likely won't be any vote at all until next spring.

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Republican Kurt Zellers says he's very concerned that revenue from electronic pull-tabs won't be enough to cover the state's share of a new Vikings stadium. And the current plan would designate the state's general fund as a backup. "If (it's) taking money out of the general fund, which is schools, which is roads, that doesn't work," he says in a Pioneer Press report.

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A committee on Monday night voted 9-6 to reject a bill that would fund a new home for the team. Vikings Vice President Lester Bagley was frustrated and said "to have an NFL team in this market we have to address this issue."

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