With the House nearing a vote on the Vikings stadium proposal, several lawmakers are raising objections to the proposed funding mechanism.
On Thursday, Rep. Mike Benson (R-Rochester) and Sen. David Hann (R-Eden Prairie) held a news conference blasting the decision to pay for the state’s $398 million share with an expansion of gambling.
"I strongly support the Vikings staying in Minnesota, and I support building a new stadium, but there are ways to accomplish this goal without turning to gambling proceeds,” said State Representative Mike Benson (R-Rochester). "With thousands of Minnesotans already devastated from the social impacts of gambling, why would we want to exacerbate this problem?"
The current proposal includes money from electronic pull tabs, electronic bingo and tip board games. Yesterday, the Senate Finance committee also added the Racino proposal into the Senate version of the bill.
“In addition to the costs to our state by expanding gambling, the Commissioner of Finance has testified that this is a regressive tax,” Hann said. “Paying for a professional football stadium with a tax on those least able to afford it is a terrible idea.”
The Vikings stadium proposal has moved through the legislature at a rapid pace since a visit from NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell last week. The House may take up the bill this week, though it has not yet been scheduled.