The bill that would have allocated the money from the BP oil spill settlement to the Mississippi Gulf Coast died in the House committee Tuesday afternoon.
Senator Brice Wiggins authored the bill, and said he was disappointed to see it die.
“Though there has been cooperation and support from my colleagues in the House on important bills in the areas of crime prevention, Medicaid, education and improving the transparency of our government, today we have taken a step backward with the House Appropriations Committee’s refusal to bring the “BP bill” up for debate,” said Wiggins.
“It is extremely disappointing for all Coast residents to see this issue succumb to the politics of the House chamber, where the concern for “bringing home the bacon” outweighed doing what was right and the original intent of these funds,” said Wiggins. “Fiscal responsibility dictates spending state dollars in the right places. As a result of the House’s inaction, these funds remain subject to the general appropriation process and are ripe for the picking.”
Wiggins added that he will be petitioning Governor Bryant for a special session regarding the settlement.
“Governor Bryant, to his unending credit, has been steadfast in his desire to see the funds spent on the Gulf Coast,” said Wiggins. “To that end, I will be formally asking Governor Bryant to consider calling a special session to direct that the BP dollars be appropriated to the Coast. ”
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