Latest bill proposes 75% of BP settlement money comes to the Coast

INTERVIEW: MS Senator Brice Wiggins speaks on new lottery bill

JACKSON, MS (WLOX) - Mississippi lawmakers are still weighing options as they consider how to allocate BP settlement funds.

The Associated Press reported that Governor Phil Bryant is requesting lawmakers to make a decision on how to divide $700 million that Mississippi will get in economic damage payments from BP.

The oil company is making the payments for damages sustained after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Legislative leaders have discussed giving about 75 percent of the money to the Mississippi's three coastal counties, thus granting 25 percent to the remaining 79 counties, as outlined in the current bill.

(a) twenty-five percent (25%) of each annual payment of those 77 funds to the State of Mississippi shall be deposited into the 78 State BP Settlement Fund created in Section 2 of this act, and (b) 79 seventy-five percent (75%) of each annual payment of those funds 80 to the State of Mississippi shall be deposited into the Gulf Coast 81 Restoration Fund created in Section 3 of this act.

State Rep. Richard Bennett from Long Beach stated, "They're going to debate, and once that bill comes down, we'll look at it and make changes in it," Bennett said. "We may put some of our own bill or our own language in it, but we may like what they have and we'll try to sell it. The bottom line is you've got to get the votes, so you've got to compromise to get the votes."

While debate continues, the bill has to be finalized in the Senate tonight before it can be sent to the House for consideration on Wednesday morning.

Read the latest version of the bill below:

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