Special session ends with BP money bill approved and another bill signed into law

Special session ends with BP money bill approved and another bill signed into law
Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT
Source: Simpson County Sheriff's Dept.
Source: Simpson County Sheriff's Dept.
Source: WLBT Archives
Source: WLBT Archives

JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - It's a wrap for the special session on infrastructure funding. Lawmakers are heading home and they've passed some measures that have been discussed with little to no action in the past.

Lawmakers were anxious to wrap up their work Wednesday as the house considered the BP money bill.

"All amendments are perhaps going to be fought and we're going to try to pass this bill clean and get our butts out of this town," said Rep. Jeff Smith.

The plan gives 75 percent of the settlement money to the coastal zone that the bill specifies as six counties. 25 percent goes to other parts of the state. Some unsuccessfully tried to get it split more evenly.

"I remember the Jeffersons," said Rep. Tracy Arnold during the presentation of his amendment. "George used to say everybody needs to have a piece of the pie. So I encourage you today to support this amendment ladies and gentlemen."

But it also includes just over $102 million dollars in specific projects around the state. 19 counties weren't part of that list.

"It's time to spread this around," added Rep. Noah Sanford while offering up an amendment. "If we're going to have to pass this, if it's going to going to law, all the children should get a present."

The bill eventually passed as introduced and now goes to the Governor.

"I am very pleased with the coast delegation and how it worked together to ensure that we bring the majority of the money back to Mississippi Gulf Coast," said Rep. Sonya Williams-Brown.

Bryant also signed the infrastructure funding bill into law Wednesday.

"When it comes down to the bottom line, the citizens of the state are the ones who were the winners today," said Speaker Philip Gunn. "Our citizens are going to begin to immediately see the benefits of the legislation that was passed over the last five days. This bill in particular."

"We've still got 467 bridges that are closed that are a danger to the motoring public," said Governor Bryant. "We literally have a crisis in our counties and this is not a long way to help alleviate it."

The Governor has not yet signed the lottery bill or that BP settlement fund bill but plans to sign both.

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