Bill to bring BP money to the Coast dies in committee

Bill to bring BP money to the Coast dies in committee
(Photo Source: WLOX)

SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) - A bill to set aside settlement money from the BP oil spill died in a conference committee on Monday night.

House Bill 1185 was declared dead after lawmakers could not come to an agreement on whether to funnel the $700 million into the Gulf Coast Restoration Reserve Fund, according to Gulf Coast Business Council Director Ashley Edwards.

Business owners on the Coast remain hopeful that legislators can reach an agreement regarding the money in the future.

Last week, six business membership organizations representing the Mississippi Gulf Coast jointly authored a position paper on their shared priorities for the BP Settlement Legislation. It was a crucial final push in the effort to secure the BP Economic Damage Settlement funds for the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

Tomorrow morning, the business council will meet in Gulfport at the Knight Nonprofit Center to discuss the next steps.

"The vast majority of the damage occurred on the Coast, and I believe those counties should receive the vast majority of the funds. By separating these funds from general tax dollars, we can focus their use on projects that encourage long-term economic growth in South Mississippi, which benefits our entire state," Lt. Gov. Reeves said in February.

Edwards noted that lawmakers worked beyond an 8 p.m. deadline to try and come to an agreement.

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