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Why gambling expansion remains a long-shot bet

A steady downpour didn’t keep Indian gambling workers from flocking outside the state Capitol in St. Paul last April. At least 1,500 people gathered outside on the building’s steps, some arriving by the busload from reservations hours away. Clad in raincoats and shielded by a canopy of umbrellas, workers thrust signs into the air that read, “Rural jobs count too” and “Don’t gamble with my job!”

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20 years later, state-tribal gaming compacts still produce friction

The compacts that regulate Indian-run gambling in the state never came up for a vote in the Minnesota Legislature. In fact, the whole affair happened rather quietly.

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Lobbyists got more gray hairs than victories in 2011 session

At the close of a news conference in July called by Republican legislative leaders to discuss the $11 billion health and human services bill, former DFL House Speaker Bob Vanasek offered some pointed criticism to Republicans David Hann and Jim Abeler from the back of the room.

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ALEC’s influence surges in Minnesota

During the early part of her two-plus decades in the state Legislature, retired Republican Sen. Pat Pariseau remembers being just one of a handful of Minnesota legislators who could call themselves members of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).

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Major legislative initiatives that stalled out in Session ’11

Several high-profile Republican pet projects have faded amid a particularly contentious budget battle, including a repeal of the nuclear construction moratorium, pension reforms, corporate income tax cuts and slots at racetracks.

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Gambling bills may be headed for photo finish

In previous legislative sessions, proposals to expand gambling have attracted more support from Republicans than DFLers. Given Minnesota's $5 billion state budget deficit and the new Republican majorities in the House and Senate, gambling proposals would seem to stand a much-improved chance of landing on the governor's desk as part of a budget agreement.

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