State Legislature Divided Over Oil Spill Settlement

Sep 7, 2016

A legislative conference committee plans to make a last-ditch effort to break a deadlock on how to use Alabama's settlement money from the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

The committee will meet this morning to try and come up with an agreeable compromise between sharply divided lawmakers.

A plan that passed the House of Representatives would have sent $191 million to road projects in south Alabama and used $450 million to pay down state debts. Last night, the Alabama Senate voted to take the road funding out of the bill. Some senators argued the greater need was in the state's Medicaid program.

The Senate plan would give $300 million to the state's Medicaid program over the next three years and use $320 million to repay money borrowed during past budget shortfalls.

House Representatives argue south Alabama was the most directly affected by the spill, and deserves a cut of the settlement.

The conference committee will meet at 9 a.m. today.