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Rubio criticized Dade County leaders for budget mismanagement

Speaking to members of the Florida Association of Counties Thursday morning, House Speaker Marco Rubio criticized Miami-Dade County leaders for putting the blame on the state for the county's financial woes.

Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Alvarez released his proposed budget priorities Thursday morning, noting cuts in social service programs and layoffs in county positions would have to take place in order to cut spending by $200 million.

"Yesterday the budget director for the county says 'by the way we're going to have all these massive and painful cuts because the state is so evil," Rubio told the group. "Still on the one hand they found $3 billion to pull out this shell game. That kind of stuff is what puts tremendous amount of pressure on a budget."

Rubio was referring to the county's use of money from its Community Redevelopment Agency fund to bail out projects like the Performing Arts Center in Downtown Miami and Parrot Jungle Island. He also questioned the county's decision to support a multi-million baseball stadium plan in Downtown Miami intended to lure the Florida Marlins.

"They basically took CRA dollars, which are really there to develop Overtown, which is a depressed neighborhood to fund two projects that have never worked," Rubio said. "They're great projects, but they have never worked financially."

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Rubio for Miami-Dade mayor

Rubio knows that CRA and Tourist Tax dollars can't be spent like property tax dollars. The cuts in police, fire, libraries and parks come from the drop in property tax revenues. The money for the Marlins Stadium or Performing Arts Center CANNOT be used to supplant lost revenue for public safety operations.

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