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House retreats on 1-year suspension of sports subsidies

Rep. Ray Sansom, the Destin Republican and budget chief for the House, confirmed on Monday that as part of a general budget agreement the House will drop its plan to suspend for one year the sales tax subsidies that go to the owners of sports stadiums.

As part of its initial $65.1 billion budget, House Republicans went along with a proposal by Rep. Ron Saunders, a Key West Republican, to forgo paying roughly $20 million a year to the arenas and stadiums used by the Miami Dolphins, Miami Heat, Florida Panthers and the Baltimore Orioles for spring training.

"We're not going to do it this year,'' said Sansom, noting that the Senate was dead-set against suspending the sports subsidies and that as part of the give-and-take over the budget that legislative leaders decided to go with the Senate position.