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Three Minnesota state senators unveiled a Vikings stadium funding plan Thursday morning. Roger Chamberlain, David Hann and Pam Wolf, all Republicans, introduced a plan that would generate some of the funding for a new Minneapolis stadium through ticket surcharges. We talked with one of their colleagues, Winona Republican Senator, Jeremy Miller about the plan. He says it's starting to get confusing.
Meanwhile on Wednesday, Republican Rod Hamilton of Mountain Lake introduced a bill calling for a roofed stadium to be built at the Vikings' first location choice, in Arden Hills, with funding coming from electronic bingo and pull tabs. The Vikings have not yet offered any comment on Hamilton's stadium plan.
(AP) National League MVP Ryan Braun's 50-game suspension has been overturned by baseball arbitrator Shyam Das. The decision was announced Thursday by the Major League Baseball Players Association. An outfielder for Milwaukee, Braun tested positive in October for elevated testosterone, and ESPN revealed the positive test in December. No reasoning was given for Thursday's decision. ``Today the arbitration panel announced its decision, by a 2-1 vote, to sustain Ryan Braun's grievance challenging his 50-game suspension by the commissioner's office,'' a statement from the players' association.
(AP) After two days of delays, a federal trial is set to begin in Milwaukee in a case involving the state's latest election maps. The maps show which voters are in which voting districts. The district boundaries are adjusted every 10 years to reflect updated U.S. Census numbers. Republican lawmakers drew up the latest maps in strict secrecy last year and passed them in a GOP-led Legislature. Democrats have challenged the GOP-friendly maps for shifting the districts for hundreds of thousands of voters without a good reason. An immigrant-rights group has also sued, alleging that the boundaries divide Latino blocs, weakening their voting power. They're suing the state Government Accountability Board to prevent it from implementing the new maps. The trial starts Thursday morning. It's expected to wrap up late Friday.
(AP) Several Republican state lawmakers are proposing a Vikings stadium plan that would drastically reduce the size of the taxpayer contribution. Sen. Roger Chamberlain of Lino Lakes says Thursday his bill would have the state contribute $300 million from sales taxes on stadium-related purchases including tickets, concessions and parking. That's less than half the $600 million to $700 million taxpayer share under discussion in recent stadium negotiations. Vikings owners would have to make up the difference on a roughly $1 billion stadium. A Vikings spokesman did not immediately return a call seeking comment. Chamberlain's bill eliminates the state's business property tax which he says would make it easier for the Vikings to get private support for the project. He says he's trying to find a plan that can pass the Legislature.
(AP) Minnesota state lawmakers are just starting to sort through options after the release this week of new state political boundaries. The redistricting maps released by a court panel Tuesday paired up 48 House and Senate incumbents. Those lawmakers are now deciding if they will run against a fellow incumbent, move to a new district or retire from the Legislature.
A few lawmakers are facing off. In southwest Minneapolis, Democratic representatives Frank Hornstein and Marion Greene say they'll run against each other in a primary. Greene says they're friends but neither wants to quit. In the Bemidji area, Republican Rep. Larry Howes and DFL Rep. John Persell will face off. A number of other paired lawmakers say they are still considering their options.