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Gambling Dollars Possible For New Vikings Stadium

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(credit: CBS) Pat Kessler
Pat Kessler knows Minnesota politics. He's been on the beat long...
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ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — If only the Vikings had this kind of staying power on the field.

A Minnesota Vikings stadium bill that was on life support 24 hours ago is alive again, and lawmakers are now gunning for the end zone. Again.

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton met privately with the Republican stadium supporters this morning, just 24 hours after he accused top GOP leaders of walking away from the Vikings.

“I’m an old hockey goalie,” said Dayton. “After a tough night you just put the pads on the next day and go to work again.”

The Republican Senate author of the stadium bill, Senator Julie Rosen of Fairmont, promised what she called a “very good” stadium bill “very soon.”

“We are going to get a bill out,” said Rosen, flanked by Gov. Dayton and Democratic lawmakers.

Rosen said the new Vikings push will include public hearings, and a special session before the New Year.

“Before Thanksgiving? That’s not gonna happen,” she said, hoping for a December “action” month. “We need more time to get the bill together if we are going to do it right.”

The funding focus now: Gambling revenues, including electronic pull tabs and slot machines at race tracks. A casino is also still a possibility for revenue.

Republicans said they’ll go where the most votes are.

“I frankly don’t think we can put a deal together unless there’s gaming revenues that’s a part of it,” said Rep. Morris Lanning, a Republican from Moorhead, the House author of the stadium bill.

One more unusual twist in a day of Vikings twists and turns: The Republican House Speaker Kurt Zellers, the most powerful politician at the legislature, was not part of the stadium meetings on Thursday.

And on WCCO Radio, he said again he is not in favor of a special session for the Vikings.

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