ATLANTA (AP) - If you want to judge public priorities, look at where public money is spent.
The current debate over how much money Georgia should contribute toward a new stadium for the Atlanta Falcons will demonstrate where leaders set their benchmarks.
State officials have proposed leveraging the proceeds of a special hotel tax to generate as much $300 million in bonds. That borrowing would serve as the public contribution toward a $1 billion retractable-roof stadium in downtown Atlanta.
Democratic Sen. Vincent Fort of Atlanta says no one at the Statehouse is debating whether that's the best use of the money. Lawmakers could change rules allowing those funds to be spent on something else.
Proponents of building a stadium say the project will keep jobs, visitors and spending in downtown Atlanta.
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