The final conference report for the American Recovery and Investment Act issued late last night by the House and Senate Conference Committee did not contain language that had been included in the Senate version prohibiting the use of stimulus funds for community parks.
Working late into the night of February 11, and throughout the next day as well, House and Senate conferees worked to reconcile two very different versions of the stimulus bill. A ripper amendment by Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) submitted on February 6, had specified that: “no funds in the bill can 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.”
Having healthy children and a strong community park system is vital to having a healthy, active nation. Interactive and accessible school playground equipment, well-built recreational fields and other park system features are key to this vitality.
Not surprisingly, the Senate swiftly approved the Coburn amendment by a vote of 73-24, likely because few of them wanted to be seen in the position of voting to allow stimulus funds to be spent on 카지노커뮤니티 casinos or gambling establishments. However, spending on the very worthwhile and stimulative public sector categories that were specified in this amendment, including “community parks,” would have also been prohibited.
NRPA advocates and allies swung into action with an all-out advocacy effort to stop this senseless prohibition from being enacted. Armed with facts and figures on the economic value of local parks and the direct benefits that would result in creating jobs and revitalizing local economies, NRPA advocates convinced Members of Congress and key Congressional staff of the merits of allowing spending of stimulus funds for community parks.
The final conference report language adopted by the Conference Committee states:
“None of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available in this Act may be used for any casino or other gambling establishment, aquarium, zoo, golf course, or swimming pool.”