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Vikings bills continue

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ST. PAUL - Despite missing deadlines, two Vikings stadium-related bills may continue through the Minnesota House this session.

With no discussion, The House rules committee voted this morning to allow bills by Republican Reps. Morrie Lanning of Moorhead and John Kriesel of Cottage Grove to be sent to committees.

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Lanning's bill focuses on the stadium and its funding, while Kriesel's modifies tax rates for charitable gaming and allows for electronic pull tabs and sports-themed tip boards. The Lanning bill moves on to Government Operations Committee, while the Kriesel proposal heads to the Taxes Committee.

Meetings have not been scheduled.

In the meantime, a stadium-construction bill remains stalled in a Senate committee and there has been no indication if the situation will change.

The Lanning bill authorizes a nearly $1 billion stadium in downtown Minneapolis, with $398 million coming from the state via charitable gambling tax revenue. The Vikings would pay $427million and Minneapolis would provide $150 million.

Even with the rules committee action, passage this year is far from certain. Today is the final day before a Passover-Easter legislative recess and legislative leaders want to adjourn for the year not long after returning on April 16.

Stadium plans face opposition from those who say the state should not be involved in building stadiums as well as those who oppose gambling.

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