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Stadium vote not 1st for some Minn. legislators

Associated Press Published: May 6, 2012

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.

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