Senators Approve BP Settlement Compromise

Sep 8, 2016

Credit AP

State lawmakers have decided how to spend Alabama’s incoming BP settlement money from the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Yesterday, state Senators voted 22-8 for a compromise plan to use the money for a mixture of paying down state debts, funding Medicaid and building roads in coastal Alabama counties.

The bill now moves to Gov. Robert Bentley for his signature. The plan, if signed into law by the governor, will steer $400 million to repay state debt, $120 million to road projects and $120 million to the state’s Medicaid program.

The approval came after two days of contentious debate and deadlock over how to spend the money. Some lawmakers pushed to steer more money to Medicaid, saying that was a more pressing need than coastal road projects.

Senators adjourned the special session after approving the bill.