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Pandemic relief money spent on hotel, ballpark, ski slopes

Virus Outbreak Congress Spending
Steven Senne/AP
/
AP
A passer-by walks near the engraved name of the late U.S. Sen. Edward M. Kennedy near the main entrance to the Edward M. Kennedy Institute, in Boston, March 23, 2015. An Associated Press review finds state and local governments have spent nearly $1 billion worth of federal coronavirus aid on projects that have little to do with combating the pandemic. Lawmakers delivered $5 million to pay off debts of the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the U.S. Senate, a nonprofit established to honor the senator that has struggled financially. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — An Associated Press review finds that state and local governments have spent nearly $1 billion worth of federal coronavirus aid on projects that have little to do with combating the pandemic. The spending runs the gamut.

In Broward County, Florida, $140 million will help to build an upscale hotel. In Dutchess County, New York, $12 million is being used to renovate a minor league ballpark. Alabama plans to spend $400 million building new prisons.

When congressional Democrats passed their $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan a year ago, they characterized it as “emergency funding” that would keep front-line workers on the job, open schools and ramp up vaccinations.