BP settlement should not be used for recurring expenses

Mississippi has been blessed with an additional $1.5 billion in settlement money from the 2010 BP oil spill. Half of that money is earmarked for environmental restoration and other projects on the Coast. The other half will end up in the state’s general fund for lawmakers to decide how to spend.

Lawmakers from the Coast have been quick to stake a claim to the funds for the three coastal counties, arguing that those areas were most damaged by the spill. Indeed, the Coast and south Mississippi should absolutely be the priority when deciding how to spend these funds.

Likewise, other projects should not be ignored simply because they are not on the Coast. If they have merit and can benefit the state as a whole, then it seems those projects should receive due consideration.