Two BP oil spill bills pass through the House
The Mississippi House of Representatives today passed two important pieces of legislation that seek to control how the BP economic damage settlement funds will be spent.
House Bill 1512, which was co-authored by most members of the Mississippi Gulf Coast House Delegation, creates 11 districts statewide in which the funds can be spent, including a standalone district for Hancock, Harrison, and Jackson counties.
The House also passed House Bill 1185, which will decide how the BP money will be split among the 11 districts created by House Bill 1512.
News 25 spoke to Adele Lyons, the CEO for the Mississippi Gulf Coast Chamber of Commerce, who tells us that although she is pleased that the bills passed, there are still some issues that need to be worked on. “The side that we are not so happy about is that there is no transparency to the bill of how the decisions are going to be made. The board that would make those decisions isn’t here on the Coast. Then we really think there needs to be a measure of accountability so if someone says they’re going to do a project, we need to make sure that it does what it was supposed to do and we see that impact on the Coast.”
Attention now shifts back to the Mississippi Senate as they try to find a medium between the House bills and Senate Bill 2176, which differ greatly on how each handles the BP settlement funds.