State Representatives Fight for Settlement Money

Two members of the state’s coastal delegation were front and center at today’s breakfast with State Representatives.
They spent the morning dishing out important updates and discussing upcoming issues that will impact our area. At the top of their list is the state’s recent settlement with BP.
In the wake of the state’s settlement with BP last week, $750 million will eventually go into the state’s general fund, money that state lawmakers will allocate.
Today’s guest speakers, State Representatives Richard Bennett and Carolyn Crawford believe most of the money should end up here in South Mississippi, the area most impacted by the massive spill. Representative Bennett said, “The governor has commented that he thinks it should be spent on the Coast, too. We’re going to hold his feet to the fire on this. And later on, two or three years from now, we’re still going to be fighting for that money on the Coast.”
But some remain skeptical: fearing that history will repeat itself and the money won’t land where it’s supposed to. Representative Crawford said, “And they have the right too. With Katrina and all that money, and what has happened in the past, they have a right too but the Gulf Coast Delegation is going to work very hard, very closely to keep as much of the money down here on the coast.”
Brian Carriere, a professor at MGCCC, said, “We know what happens when there’s a new pot of money that shows up in Jackson and all the representatives, all the senators they want things for their projects, for their districts and things like that, but this oil spill is something that affected the coastal counties.”
“We’re going to be meeting next week to discuss all of the different buckets of money and how we’re going to receive it,” said Crawford.
Bennett said, “We’re going to do everything in our power to keep it here on the Coast. We’re meeting as a Coast Delegation next week, and we’re going to talk about our strategy for that.”

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