(AP)- A bill devoting public money toward new Twins and Vikings stadiums got through the House Taxes Committee on a 15-13 vote Tuesday.
The vote came after five hours of committee deliberation and amendments that capped the public contribution at just below $1.1 billion.
The amendments also require any local taxes to be approved by a referendum and make the Twins deal contingent on the team settling a dispute now keeping games off most television sets.
A telling pattern emerged with the vote: No lawmakers from communities competing for the stadiums supported the bill while rural members tended to back it.
The bill also gives hope to the University of Minnesota as it begins a fund-raising campaign for a new on-campus football stadium. Once the team raises $133 million privately toward a $222 million stadium, the state will work to come up with the remaining $89 million.
On the heels of state budget cuts, more than one legislator raised objections to the prospect of public money going for the Vikings and Twins.
"I am really troubled by this proposal," said Rep. Mike Jaros, DFL-Duluth. "Over a billion dollars to subsidize cake, ice cream and dessert when we took bread and butter and medicine from people who are needy in this state."
The bill now heads to the House Ways and Means Committee. A companion bill gets its first consideration in the Senate on Wednesday.