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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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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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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.

Legislative session extends into May

State lawmakers were unable to meet their self-imposed adjournment deadline of April 30th. Republican leaders are still negotiating three major pieces of business with Democratic Governor Mark Dayton: a package of tax cuts, a list of state-funded construction projects, and a plan for a new Vikings stadium. The Legislature is not required to adjourn until May 21st.

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The stadium legislation was released Friday afternoon following the agreement Gov. Mark Dayton, Minneapolis leaders and Vikings owners announced March 1. It proposes constructing a 65,000 seat roofed-stadium near the current Metrodome site for $975 million. $398 million would come from the state, funded by electronic pulltabs. Minneapolis would cover $150 million of the cost and the Vikings would pay the remaining $427 million.

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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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Governor Mark Dayton and legislative leaders are up for a final push to see if they can piece together an acceptable stadium deal before the current legislative session ends. The effort comes after a meeting with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and Art Rooney, chief of the league's stadium commission.