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Vikings stadium: A reversal of fortune?

The swift pace at which the Minnesota Vikings stadium bill advanced through the House and Senate this week amounted to nothing short of a legislative resurrection.

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Endorsement battles may loom for GOP moderates

There is a lot of uncertainty about the 2012 legislative election season. Most significantly, nobody knows exactly what legislative districts will look like when the redistricting process — which is expected to drag on into February or March — is finally completed.

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In the House, centrist Republicans could play a pivotal role in budget fight

Moderate legislators are hard to come by these days. By most accounts, last fall’s election saw voters oust most of the middle-of-the-road DFLers in the Minnesota House and replace them with a spate of freshman Republicans elected on a strong right-wing wave that swept the nation.

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House GOP vote on marriage amendment was defining issue of session’s last days

Around 4 o’clock last Saturday afternoon, the central drama of Session 2011’s closing days finally reared its head on the House floor. Shortly before the chamber recessed for dinner, GOP Rep. Mary Liz Holberg stood to announce the addition of a controversial constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage to the calendar for that evening’s proceedings.

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House votes to put gay marriage ban on the ballot

After five hours of emotional debate, the House voted to place a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage on the 2012 ballot. The amendment – which previously passed the state Senate on a largely party-line vote – passed off of the House floor on a 70-62 vote Saturday evening. Four Republicans voted against the amendment, with two DFLers crossing over to vote for the measure.

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Rank-and-file House Republicans press their case for limiting spending to $34B — no matter what

Republican Rep. Steve Drazkowski and others say they have accepted the $34 billion number. But in their eyes, this means that they have already “compromised” on the budget — even if it’s only with other Republicans.

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Clock is no ally in Vikings stadium push

The debate over how to fund a new stadium for the Minnesota Vikings has always divided legislative caucuses on both sides of the aisle. Last year DFLers from Minneapolis pushed back on a proposal that suggested extending local taxes from the Convention Center to help pay for the project, even as Democrats like former Senate Taxes Chairman Tom Bakk led the charge for the team's new home.

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Freshman midterms – which new members are getting the most exposure and best reviews?

The scene was unusual for most Capitol regulars. At an early-session press conference, newly minted House Republican leaders Kurt Zellers and Matt Dean introduced the first symbolic bills of their newfound majority. Standing at their side were the bill authors - two first-time legislators just a few weeks removed from their swearing-in.

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