A Democratic state senator has a genius idea that makes gambling all feel OK. It's for the children! Sen. Chuck Wiger, DFL-Maplewood, wants to allow video slot machines in bars and airports across the state to bring an estimated $1.1 billion a year.
"Is it the preferred way to fund education? No," said Wiger, who plans to introduce the bill on Monday. "Is it a supplemental way to help do so in difficult times? Yes."
Wiger estimates that 3,200 establishments across Minnesota would be allowed to operate video slot machines if the legislation is enacted, bringing in about $1.1 billion a year. The state's proceeds would be split evenly among early childhood, K-12 and higher education.
The higher education portion would go toward scholarships for students who earn a grade point average of 3.0 or higher.