Committee approves settlement split from BP oil spill

The Associated Press

A legislative committee advanced a plan for spending Alabama's settlement money from the 2010 oil spill.

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — A legislative committee advanced a plan for spending Alabama's settlement money from the 2010 oil spill.

The House Ways and Means Committee on Tuesday approved a bill to use $450 million for debt repayment and $190 million for coastal counties' roads.

Alabama will get $1 billion over the next 18 years to compensate for damages from the spill. Under the bill, the state would take a smaller amount up front — a projected $640 million— by doing a bond issue.

Proponents say the plan could avoid Medicaid cuts.

Committee Chairman Steve Clouse said paying debt early would free state funds now earmarked and provide most of the additional $85 million requested by Medicaid.

The House approved a similar plan in April, but lawmakers feuded over how to use the money.

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