New Senate leader gives stadium supporters friend in high place

Republican Sen. David Senjem has been an outspoken supporter of a new home for the Vikings and a chief backer of legislation that would allow slot machines at horse racing tracks. Senjem is part of a private group now working to write a stadium bill. He says he expects the Legislature will have plan in place for the next session.
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Republican Sen. David Senjem has been an outspoken supporter of a new home for the Vikings and a chief backer of legislation that would allow slot machines at horse racing tracks. Senjem is part of a private group now working to write a stadium bill. He says he expects the Legislature will have plan in place for the next session.

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The Minnesota State Lottery says that slot machines at horse racing tracks Canterbury Park and Running Aces will raise enough annual revenue to build a Vikings stadium with money left for education.

State Senate leader open to special session on stadium

Senate Majority Leader Dave Senjem says if lawmakers finish their other business, they may not want to stay at the Capitol waiting for a stadium deal. There's no timetable in the ongoing talks between the Dayton administration, the Vikings, and Minneapolis.

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One House member says the rise of new Senate Majority Leader Dave Senjem and Assistant Leader Claire Robling lends muscle to the move to put slot machines at horse racing tracks. The proposal's chances with the House and Governor Dayton are still murky, though.

Dayton 'pessimistic', looks to next year for stadium bill

Governor Mark Dayton says he's disappointed a House committee rejected the latest best hope for a Vikings stadium deal at the Legislature. He says if things don't work out, he's already looking to the 2013 session.

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While the Vikings, Minneapolis, and the Dayton administration are in negotiations to come up with a stadium plan, state lawmakers have floated a series of long-shot proposals of their own. The latest is a revival of the "racino" idea, which would use revenue from slot machines at horse racing tracks to help fund a new stadium. Gambling opponents and tribal casinos have helped defeat the proposal in the past.

Lawmakers getting frustrated as wait for stadium bill drags on

State Rep. John Kriesel, who is part of the Legislature's stadium working group, says "It's reaching a point where are almost forced to move on." Senate Majority Leader Dave Senjem renewed his suggestion that lawmakers hold a special session to deal with a Vikings stadium. Meanwhile, talks involving the football team, Minneapolis, and the Dayton administration continue.

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