Alabama lawmakers OK plan to build prisons with virus cash

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Amid a national debate over the use of pandemic relief funds, Alabama lawmakers swiftly approved a plan to tap $400 million to help build two super-size prisons. In a bipartisan vote that brought little dissent, senators approved the $1.3 billion construction plan that will use $400 million from the American Rescue Plan to pay for prison construction. The plan drew criticism from some congressional Democrats who said prison construction was not the intent of the relief bill. State Republicans say they have discretion to use the money on their greatest needs. 

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