Special Session: Will Alabama Lawmakers Use Virus Money for Prisons?


Alabama is considering whether to use $400 million in pandemic relief funds to build new prisons.

Lawmakers on Monday begin a special session focused on a $1.3 billion prison construction plan that will use $400 million of state money from the American Rescue Plan.

Gov. Kay Ivey and Republican legislative leaders say the using the virus cash will save taxpayers’ money by reducing how much the state has to borrow. But critics argue that is not an intended use of the funds.

Alabama Arise is an organization that advocates for low-income residents. The group says the money is supposed to do things that will help everyday Alabamians in the pandemic recovery.

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