A new sign of Democratic opposition to the Miami Dolphins’
stadium bill is coming from close to home—Rep. Sharon Pritchett, D-Miami
represents the very constituents who live next to the Dolphins’ stadium, where
a proposed $390 million upgrade is expected to bring new jobs to the community.
She has concerns about the bill. She voted for HB 165 in
committee Wednesday, but due to a limited “structured debate” process, was not
able to voice her concerns.
reviewed a copy of Pritchett’s prepared statement, in which the freshman
Representative points out the fact that tax dollars would be going to
a privately owned venture instead of “hospitals, schools and law enforcement.” Pritchett believes the Dolphins should pay back any tax revenue they get, with interest.
Even though her logic (pro-government, anti-“corporate-welfare”)
is safely liberal, Pritchett is one of only two Democrats to publicly announce opposition to the stadium bill. Rep. Jose Javier Rodriguez, D-Miami, voted against HB 165 last month.
Using rhetoric that bordered on left-leaning, Rep. Carlos Trujillo, a Miami Republican, admonished Democrats and Republicans on the committee for supporting the bill:
“When we decide we can’t expand Medicaid, when we can’t expand services to victims of domestic violence, when we can’t expand services to the (physically) disabled,” he said, “I hope you take comfort in the fact that you sent $385 million of your taxpayers’ dollars to a for-profit, billion-dollar corporation.”
passed 10-7 Wednesday
with 'No' votes from seven Republicans, and could have died in committee without united support from Democrats across the state. Pritchett and others on the
committee have been lobbied quite hard by the Dolphins, as the team tries to
gather up support for up to $90 million in tax breaks from the state and a new
local hotel tax to raise even more.
Here’s Pritchett’s prepared statement on the bill: