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Miami-Dade commission shoots down proposal to put gambling straw poll on primary ballot

Miami-Dade County Commission voted 8-5 on Tuesday against a proposal by Chairman Joe Martinez to place a nonbinding straw ballot on the Jan. 31 ballot to gauge voters' views on the hot topic of destination resort casinos in Miami-Dade. Several commissioners said it makes more sense to seek voters’ input once details of proposed projects have crystalized and the legislature has acted.

Commissioners Martinez, Jean Monestime, Javier Souto, Xavier Suarez and Lynda Bell voted in favor of the straw ballot. Voting against were Bruno Barreiro, Esteban Bovo, Jose "Pepe" Diaz, Dennis Moss, Sally Heyman, Audrey Edmonson, Barbara Jordan and Rebeca Sosa.

Separately Tuesday, the commission hammered out more details of a letter the panel plans to send to the state Legislature, staking its position that the county take the lead in decision-making on casino gambling. The county attorney is finalizing the letter.

--MARTHA BRANNIGAN

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