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Stadium vote not 1st for some Minn. legislators

Associated Press Published: May 6, 2012
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ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Stadium votes don't run along party lines in the Minnesota Legislature and can be the most difficult — and visible — that lawmakers ever cast.

Ninety-nine sitting lawmakers were part of the 201-member Legislature the last time a Minnesota professional sports team won approval for a stadium subsidy, the 2006 Twins ballpark legislation. It prevailed with a few House votes to spare but by the barest of Senate margins before a signature by a Republican governor.

The Twins bill raised a Hennepin County sales tax but also offered a state exemption on construction material sales taxes. The Vikings bill depends on diverted sales taxes in Minneapolis and an expansion of gambling in bars and restaurants.

The financing approaches differ and past votes are no guarantee of future action. But they can be a helpful guide. Lawmakers who voted "yes" before could be seen as more inclined to back another stadium bill than those who were on the "no" side back then.

Some then-House members are now in the Senate, but here's a look at where those votes fell:

— Overall, 53 lawmakers who opposed the final Twins bill are in line for a vote on this plan; 46 backed the Twins ballpark legislation.

— Of Republicans in the House then and now, 13 voted "no" and nine were "yes."

— Among Democrats who remain in the House, 21 voted "no" and 20 were "yes," with one absence that day by a still-serving member.

— Of Republicans serving in the Senate now (including some ex-House members), 12 opposed the Twins plan and five backed it.

— Among current Democratic senators (counting a trio of ex-House members), seven voted "no" on the final bill and 12 said "yes."

___

Analysis by Associated Press writer Brian Bakst.


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