BRADENTON, Fla. - The Florida House has passed a $65.1 billion budget for fiscal 2009 that withholds state sales tax revenue previously pledged toward professional sports team venues, which could adversely impact outstanding debt and credit ratings.

At a time when revenues supporting Florida's budget are declining rapidly, especially sales and real estate taxes, lawmakers said they could not justify funding venues for billionaire owners of sports franchises while at the same time approving budget cuts affecting the state's "most vulnerable citizens."

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