Coast legislators focused on distribution of BP money

Coast legislators focused on distribution of BP money

JACKSON, MS (WLOX) - The 2018 legislative session is underway, once again the legislature is expected to debate how the BP money should be distributed.

A year ago the State Senate passed a bill to distribute the BP money, but the bill failed to make it out of the House. This time around the state senators from the Coast remain committed to making sure that BP money makes it to South Mississippi.

"I have stated that 100 percent should be on the Coast," said Sen. Brice Wiggins. "We received most if not all of the damage so it should be where the damage happened."

In the House, it may not be so easy. Speaker Philip Gunn said he would like to explore all options.

"My position on that has been more about making sure the money is spent on the things that bring a positive return for the state," Gunn said. "I want to spend it on things that are going to bring economic development, jobs and give us a return on the money."

While the House members from the Coast want to see all of the BP money sent to South Mississippi, they also know negotiations may have to happen for the money to be distributed this year.

"That's one thing that we have to do a better job with is showing other representatives and senators how they benefit and how much the state benefits from the coast and how this money can be an economic boon, not just for the Coast, but for the entire state," said Rep. Jeramey Anderson.

Rep. Greg Haney said, "If we're going to do it we've got to go out and get the votes. We all from the Coast know where it needs to go, but we have to get 62 votes to make that happen."

We'll see how it all plays out over the next three months. The 2018 Legislative Session runs from now until April 1.

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