Coasts Legislators ‘Appalled’ at BP Money Spending
The first $150 million of BP money is coming to our state soon and South Mississippi legislators say some of their initial fears about how that money will be spent are coming to fruition.
Senator Michael Watson says what is happening with that money is “appalling.” Watson told the crowd at today’s Jackson County Republic Club meeting that a number of bond items for our area that were supposed to be paid by the state are now slated to be paid for with money out of the state’s BP fund.
Watson went on to say the state should not take BP money and use it on things the state should be spending on the Coast anyway. “USM was one. There were other projects like the Gulf Coast Research Lab and some others that were in that bill as well, same thing happened. Again, those are state obligations. The state should be funding those, not taking the money from the Coast via BP dollars, using the end around and then basically beating your chest saying ‘well, we spent it on the Coast.’ No, the Coast should be deciding where that money is spent, not Jackson.”
Coast lawmakers are hoping a special session will be called within the next month. They say they’re fine-tuning a plan to make sure that BP money stays in South Mississippi.