House Bill 1185 Update

This week, the Mississippi Senate passed a funding bill for BP settlement funding.
News 25’s Jaylon Morris gives us an update on the House bill and the next step toward the bill becoming a law.
Ashley Edwards is the Gulf Coast Business Council president. He, along with other Coast leaders, residents, and business owners, has been keeping a close eye on House Bill 1185. It’s a bill that would create a separate account in the state treasury for the state’s BP oil spill economic damage settlement money. “It sets aside the money in a fund within the state treasury. So, the legislature would appropriate those funds to projects along the Coast.”
There’s about $700 million remaining in the fund. Although, State Senate passed the bill by a unanimous vote earlier this week, there are still steps along the way before it can become a law. “I think the biggest uphill battle we still have is in the House of Representatives. It’s convincing those House members and the speaker that it is good to put this money in coastal Mississippi where the damage was done. If we can do that, I think we can be successful,” said Edwards.
Edwards noted that the next step for the bill is the conference committee where the House and Senate will come together to negotiate a final version of the bill. “If the House and Senate can come to some agreement on a structure for spending the BP money, it will have to go back to the House and Senate to be passed. After that it goes to the governor’s desk to become law.”
Edwards looks at House Bill 1185 as something greatly needed to help South Mississippi as the area continues to recover from the disastrous effects of the BP oil spill. “I don’t want to say it is a once in a life time opportunity, but it’s certainly the only foreseeable opportunity of this type. We have to seize it now to make sure that ultimately we have these funds on the Coast to take our economy forward.”
The final report of the State House and State Senate conference committee is set to take place March 26th. “It’s the furthest that BP legislation has gone yet. We’ve been working on this for several years and we see a light at the end of the tunnel now,” said Edwards.

Categories: Featured, Local News, News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *