The Alabama Legislature is closer to providing money to repair and rebuild public schools hit by tornadoes in 2011 and 2012.
The Senate Finance and Taxation-Education Committee voted unanimously Tuesday for a bill that would allow the state to sell $30 million in bonds. Of that, $15 million would go to Murphy High School in Mobile, which was hit by a tornado in December.
The Alabama House of Representatives has passed a bill that authorizes the state to issue $30 million in bonds to rebuild several tornado-damaged schools across the state.
Democratic Rep. Napoleon Bracy's bill passed 103-0 Tuesday night and now goes to the Senate. If approved, it will provide $15 million to Murphy High School in Mobile to repair damage from a tornado on Christmas Day, 2012.
Alabama is getting nearly $120 million in federal assistance to help with recovery from the deadly tornadoes in April 2011.
Gov. Robert Bentley announced Wednesday that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development will provide the state government with $49.2 million to distribute to recovery projects. Tuscaloosa will get $43.9 million, Birmingham $17.5 million, and Jefferson County $9.1 million.
Bentley says the new funding will help several areas of the state that are still suffering long-term effects from the storms.
Nine local governments in north and west Alabama have been awarded more than $15.7 million in grants to help with tornado recovery.
The grants from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development include $4.8 million to help rebuild Hackleburg's downtown. Eighteen people were killed and many of the businesses in the Marion County town were destroyed or heavily damaged by an April 27 tornado.