Two Minnesota lawmakers say revenues from slots installed at state racetracks could help fund a variety of projects, including a new St. Paul Saints ballpark.
Two Minnesota lawmakers say revenues from slots installed at state racetracks could help fund a variety of projects, including a new St. Paul Saints (independent; American Association) ballpark.
The so-called "racino" proposal, which pops up regularly in Minnesota politics, would allow slot machines to be installed in two Minnesota horse-racing tracks. The take from the slots could be upwards of $125 million annually.
That money, say the two DFL lawmakers, could be used to pay for a variety of projects, including a new Minnesota Vikings stadium and a proposed $35-million downtown St. Paul ballpark for the Saints.
The proposal is just that: a proposal. It's not clear whether Gov. Tim Pawlenty would allow an expansion of state gambling when he's veering to the right while unofficially running for president, and other legislative leaders — including Sen Larry Pogemiller, the Senate majority leader — skeptical about the worth of such a proposal.
By the way: it looks like planning money for the new Saints ballpark isn't included in the most recent bonding bill. A read of the latest version didn't yield a listing for funds, but it's possible we just missed it. UPDATE: Nope, we didn't miss it. We're told $250,000 in planning funds was literally the last line item removed by a House committee before sent to the full body.
RELATED STORIES: Funding for new Saints ballpark fails to make initial cut
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