RELEASE from State Sen. Brice Wiggins:
BP Bill dies in the Mississippi House; Wiggins to Ask for Special Session
Here’s my full statement on the bill dying in the House.
Though there has been cooperation and support from my colleagues in the House on important bills in the areas of crime prevention, Medicaid, education and improving the transparency of our government, today we have taken a step backward with the House Appropriations Committee’s refusal to bring the “BP bill” up for debate.
The bill was an important step in keeping BP dollars on the Coast. We have known since the end of session last year that this issue would come before us, and the Senate worked diligently to put forth an acceptable piece of legislation. It passed the Senate unanimously and had the full support of Governor Bryant and Lt. Governor Reeves.
It is extremely disappointing for all Coast residents to see this issue succumb to the politics of the House chamber, where the concern for “bringing home the bacon” outweighed doing what was right and the original intent of these funds. Fiscal responsibility dictates spending state dollars in the right places. As a result of the House’s inaction, these funds remain subject to the general appropriation process and are ripe for the picking.
I am proud of the leadership shown by Lt. Governor Reeves, Chairman Buck Clarke from the Delta, and my Senate colleagues, Republican and Democrat, for standing up for the the citizens of the Gulf Coast, the area of the state that received the full force and impact of the BP oil spill.
Governor Bryant, to his unending credit, has been steadfast in his desire to see the funds spent on the Gulf Coast.
To that end, I will be formally asking Governor Bryant to consider calling a special session to direct that the BP dollars be appropriated to the Coast.