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Senate bill could curb stadium projects

Professional sports franchises would be prohibited from building or renovating stadiums on publicly owned land under a measure introduced Tuesday in the Florida Senate.

The proposal (SB 352) by Hialeah Republican Sen. Rene Garcia, is similar to legislation (HB 13) filed in the House by Hialeah Republican Rep. Bryan Avila. Both bills are filed for the 2018 Legislative Session, which starts in January.

During the 2017 Legislative Session, the House approved a similar proposal, while a Senate version failed to get through committees.

Avila has also filed a separate measure (HB 6005) for the 2018 Legislative Session that would repeal a controversial 2014 law that created a stadium-funding program. That program makes available a potential $13 million a year for stadium work.

But the House has prevented funding projects the past few years, even as the state Department of Economic Opportunity has approved applications submitted for EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Sun Life Stadium in Miami-Dade County, Daytona International Speedway, Raymond James Stadium in Tampa and a soccer stadium in Orlando.

The News Service of Florida provides journalists, lobbyists, government officials and other civic leaders with comprehensive, objective information about the activities of state government year-round.

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