Alabama clears plan to use COVID-19 aids to build prisons

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey

Governor Kay Ivey Alabama pushes back criticism for using COVID-19 funds to build prisons Alabama eyes using pandemic aids on the prison system Dozens of Republican governors call for a meeting with Biden on crossing borders MORE (R) on Friday signed legislation allowing the state to use COVID-19 aids to build prisons.

“Folks, this is a crucial moment for the path of our state’s criminal justice system,” Ivey said during an event in which she signed bills that would allow the state to use the funds.

“Let me be clear, while more reforms of the system can and must be addressed in the future – and I am determined, like many legislators – today’s bill signing on the construction part of this issue is a major step forward,” Ivey continued.

The legislature opened a special session on Monday to consider a $ 1.3 billion construction plan to build three new prisons and renovate others. Of the funding, the state would use $ 400 million of its appropriation from the $ 1.9 trillion U.S. rescue plan to partially fund the projects.

The legislature passed two bills Friday that allowed the state to proceed with the plan, according to the Associated Press.

Ivey’s plan provoked backlash from Democrats, who say the funds for corona aid were not intended for prison reforms.

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

“To be clear, the current state of the Alabama prison system is abhorrent, but the use of COVID-19 aids to pay for decades with our state’s neglect is simply unacceptable,” Sewell said. The money for COVID-19 relief should be used to alleviate COVID-19. Period.”

Rep. Jerry NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis Nadler Alabama Governor pushes back criticism for using COVID-19 funds to build prisons House considers new debt limit vote Tuesday Biden to raise refugee ceiling to 125,000 in October MORE (DN.Y.), who chairs the House Judiciary Committee, sent a letter to the finance minister Janet YellenJanet Louise Yellen The Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by Alibaba – Democrats still disagree on Biden agenda Debt fight revives Democrats’ filibuster fears Biden signs bill to stave off closure MORE asks her to prevent states from using the emergency aid for prison construction.

Ivey pushed Nadler back Tuesday, saying the federal government should “worry more about avoiding the pending government shutdown and governing the country.”

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