Mississippi Senate approves plan to divide oil spill money

FILE PHOTO Gulf Oil Spill Settlement Photo by Gerald Herbert, AP Photo_218678

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) – Mississippi’s state Senate is passing a bill that divides $700 million in oil spill damages being paid to the state and also includes 128 special projects worth nearly $103 million cumulatively.
Senate Bill 2002 was debated for less than an hour on Tuesday before passing 42-8. It moves to the House for more consideration.
The bill designates Mississippi’s southernmost six counties for grants and loans from a fund created by the bill. Lawmaker will still have to approve grants each year, based on recommendations by the Mississippi Development Authority.
The coastal zone will get 75 percent of future income, plus about $27 million now.
The special projects are funded by $50 million in borrowing and more than $50 million in money already paid by BP PLC. It also sets aside $9 million for railroad and railroad crossing improvements.

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