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Alabama clears plan use COVID-19 relief funds to build prisons

Alabama Gov. Kay IveyblankKay IveyAlabama governor pushes back on criticism for using COVID-19 funds to build prisons Alabama eyes using pandemic relief funds on prison system Dozens of Republican governors call for meeting with Biden on border surge MORE (R) on Friday signed laws enabling the state to make use of COVID-19 aid funds to construct prisons.

“People, this can be a pivotal second for the trajectory of our state’s legal justice system,” Ivey stated during an event the place she signed payments enabling the state to make use of the funds.

“Let me be clear, whereas extra reform of the system can and does should be addressed sooner or later – and I’m dedicated to that as are many legislators – at this time’s invoice signing on the development a part of this problem is a serious step ahead,” Ivey continued.  

The legislature opened a particular session on Monday to think about a $1.3 billion building plan to construct three new prisons and renovate others. Of the funding, the state would use $400 million of its allocation from the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan to partially finance the initiatives.

The legislature handed two payments on Friday permitting the state to maneuver ahead with the plan, in response to The Associated Press.

Ivey’s plan drew backlash from Democrats, who say that the coronavirus aid funds weren’t meant for jail reforms.

Rep. Teri Sewell (D-Ala.) stated she was “deeply disturbed” by the legislature’s plan.

“To be clear, the present state of the Alabama jail system is abhorrent, however using COVID-19 aid funds to pay for many years of our state’s neglect is just unacceptable,” Sewell stated.  “COVID-19 aid cash must be used for COVID-19 aid. Interval.”

Rep. Jerry NadlerblankJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerAlabama governor pushes back on criticism for using COVID-19 funds to build prisons House considering new debt limit vote Tuesday Biden to raise refugee cap to 125,000 in October MORE (D-N.Y.), who chairs the Home Judiciary Committee, despatched a letter to Treasury Secretary Janet YellenblankJanet Louise YellenThe Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by Alibaba – Democrats still at odds over Biden agenda Debt fight revives Democrats’ filibuster angst Biden signs bill to avert shutdown MORE asking her to forestall states from utilizing the aid funds for jail building.

Ivey pushed back on Nadler on Tuesday, saying that the federal authorities ought to “fear extra about avoiding the pending authorities shutdown and working the nation.”

https://thehill.com/homenews/state-watch/575005-alabama-clears-plan-use-covid-19-relief-funds-to-build-prisons | Alabama clears plan use COVID-19 aid funds to construct prisons

Huynh Nguyen

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