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Baseball facilities bill wins preliminary Senate backing

By Times staff writer

© St. Petersburg Times, published April 29, 2000

TALLAHASSEE -- "We all have one bill every year that's closest to our heart and this is mine," Palm Harbor Republican Sen. Jack Latvala said Friday as the Senate gave preliminary approval to his plan to provide up to $15-million to help local governments renovate or replace aging minor league baseball facilities over the next 30 years. The money would have to be matched by local governments that own the facilities.

Both the House and Senate are expected to formally pass it next week. Latvala said the improved facilities are necessary to fend off other states that want to lure teams away from Florida.

The measure could allow Clearwater to build a new stadium for the Philadelphia Phillies. Dunedin wants to renovate facilities the Toronto Blue Jays use.

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