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Stadium Bill in Senate; House Amendments Controversial

The Minnesota House passed the Vikings stadium bill in a 73-58 vote on Monday but included a series of amendments-including one that a Vikings spokesman called "not workable." The Senate began debating the stadium bill early Tuesday afternoon.

The Minnesota Senate began debating a Vikings stadium bill early Tuesday afternoon, a day after a revised version of the funding plan passed the House.

The Senate session opened at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, but Senate Majority Leader Dave Senjem called for a recess to allow Republican senators to discuss the bill in a private caucus.

The Senate reconvened mid-day, and Senator Julie Rosen began discussing the bill before the Senate at about 12:30 p.m. To view live, streaming video of the Senate's session, click here.

The House passed its version of the stadium bill in a 73-58 vote on Monday night, with 40 Democrats and 33 Republicans voting in favor of the plan. Thirty-seven Republicans and 21 Democrats voted against the bill.

But the House made some significant changes prior to passing the bill-including who foots what portion of the cost. Prior to the amendment, the bill called for the Vikings to contribute $427 million, while $398 million would come from the state and be funded by gambling revenues.

The altered deal would require the state to pay $105 million less than previously proposed, with the Vikings paying $105 million more. The city's share remains at $150 million.

Lester Bagley, the team's vice president of public affairs and stadium development, called the $105 million increase for the team's share "not workable," according to the nonpartisan House Public Information Services.

Other amendments to the House bill require the Vikings to sign a 40-year lease at the stadium, give the state a larger portion of money if the team is sold once the stadium is built, allow the public to share revenue from stadium naming rights, and shift the responsibility for operating cost overruns from the state to the team.

If the Senate approves its stadium bill Tuesday, it will likely need to be reconciled with the House version; the resulting compromise would then return to the House and Senate for a final vote before heading to Governor Mark Dayton's desk, according to a report by the Star Tribune. Dayton could potentially sign the bill into law by the end of the week, the Minneapolis newspaper reported.

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