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Sports Porkulus

2009 February 27
by Brad Humphreys

There has been some speculation around here lately about how much of the stimulus money will go to professional sports. Interestingly, there was an attempt to explicitly prohibit the use of stimulus money for professional sports in the early going. Senator Tom Coburn (R-Okla) introduced an amendment to the stimulus bill

None of the amounts appropriated or otherwise made available by this Act may be used for any casino or other gambling establishment, aquarium, zoo, golf course, swimming pool, stadium, community park, museum, theater, art center, and highway beautification project.

that passed the senate on February 6th. However, this section got changed in the conference committee. The final wording in the stimulus bill is

None of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available in this Act may be used by any State or local government, or any private entity, for any casino or other gambling establishment, aquarium, zoo, golf course, or swimming pool.

The full text of the final stimulus bill can be found here. What remains of Senator Coburn’s amendment, Section 1604, (the text above) can be found on page 189.

So the congress has spoken. No stimulus money for zoos, gambling, or golf courses, but feel free to shower stimulus money on stadiums. My hat is off to Senator Coburn, and shame on whoever eliminated the prohibition against stimulus money for stadiums in the conference committee.

Hat tip to Emily Sparvero.

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