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Dade delegation leaves Dolphins stadium off list of 2013 priorities

The Miami-Dade delegation of state lawmakers decided not to list the Miami Dolphins stadium deal among its legislative priorities for this year.

During a Wednesday meeting to plan out legislative goals for 2013, the Dolphins’ proposal was not even brought up, several members of the delegation said.

“The Dolphins bill is one of many member bills that was not discussed," said Rep. Jose Felix Diaz, R-Miami. “Not one legislator moved to make the Dolphins bill one of our priorities.”

The bill, sponsored by Sen. Oscar Braynon, D-Miami Gardens and Rep. Eddy Gonzalez, R-Hialeah, would provide the Dolphins with a multimillion-dollar tax deal to help fund a $400 million renovation of SunLife stadium.

The measure cleared its first hurdler earlier this week with a unanimous vote in the Senate Commerce and Tourism committee.

It’s not clear whether the delegation’s decision to not prioritize the Dolphins stadium will affect the bill's chances of making it through the Legislature. The Dolphins deal already faces long odds in the Miami community because of the much-maligned Marlins deal that left taxpayers on the hook for a new baseball stadium near Little Havana. Miami-Dade County commissioners and the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce have thrown their support behind the project.

Diaz said the delegation decided to focus on broader issues like education, property insurance rates and funding for Jackson Memorial hospital.

“These are the things that our constituents want us to concentrate on right now,” he said. 

@ToluseO

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