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Twins Stadium Vote Could Come Wednesday
Associated Press

As the Twins continue to mow down opponents, supporters of the Twins stadium bill are working to do much the same thing to those opposing the latest state measure to help build the baseball team a new, outdoor ballpark.

As Twins ace Brad Radke was pitching a gem in beating the Yankees 2-1 at the Metrodome Monday night, radio listeners were urged to contact their representative to support the stadium plan, and were given the phone numbers of House leaders publicly opposing the bill.

The effort comes as the House sponsor of the plan says he will revive the measure. His plan requires a $140 million interest-free state loan as a catalyst for building the new park. Rep. Harry Mares, of White Bear Lake, told the Star Tribune that he plans on using a parliamentary maneuver to pull the bill stalled in a House committee to the floor for a vote as early as Wednesday.

And two of the most visible and powerful House members who have spoken against any state involvement in building a Twins stadium say they won't stand in the way of the vote, according to The Associated Press.

House Majority Leader Steve Sviggum says he won't stand in the way of a floor vote on the bill, and House Tax Committee chair Ron Abrams says he will give the bill a prompt hearing if his colleagues send it to his committee.

Last month, after the House committee tabled the bill, Sviggum had called the plan "pretty much dead," the wire service reports.

The bill calls for the state to provide the $140 million loan using a surplus in a state workers compensation fund along with $10 million in tax breaks for materials used in building the ballpark. The loan would be guaranteed by the team, and the Twins and other private sources would provide the remaining $150 million toward the estimated $300 million ballpark cost.

Mares said in mid-April that the e-mails, letters and phone calls he has received have been overwhelmingly in support of the bill, and members of the non-partisan group that formed the current political proposal have been lobbying fans during radio and television game broadcasts.

Abrahms also said that he planned to consider a bill creating a 17-member task force to study the stadium needs of the Minnesota Vikings and Minnesota Gophers football teams, the Star Tribune said.