Lawmakers advance bill to fine sports teams for not housing the homeless

Source: Tolu Olorunnipa, Miami Herald, Naked Politics Blog, January 23, 2012

Back in 1988, Florida legislators passed a law that would allow sports stadiums to collect about $2 million per year from the government to build new shiny stadiums that would increase economic investment and improve the quality of life.

Tucked into the statutes is an obscure homeless shelter provision…The law states that sports teams that accept taxpayer dollars to build facilities must house the homeless on off-nights, and lawmakers have brought it back from the dead in a pair of bills gaining steam this legislative session.

Senate Bill 816, which would make teams and stadium owners return millions of taxpayer dollars if they can’t prove that they’ve been operating as a haven for the homeless on non-event nights, passed its first committee in the Senate on Monday with a unanimous vote…

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