Pascagoula Sen. Brice Wiggins files bill funneling BP settlement money into Tidelands funds

With the subject of BP/Deepwater Horizon settlement dollars high on the Coast delegation’s mind this legislative session, Wiggins filed Senate Bill 2285 proposing a process for distributing these funds.

The bill proposes that 95 percent of the BP settlement funds, be deposited annually into the Public Trust Tidelands Fund, with the option for the money to be housed in the Gulf Restoration Fund, the bill touted by Gov. Phil Bryant in his State of the State address Wednesday night.

“The Tidelands Trust Fund is already an established entity and the process for appropriating projects is already relatively familiar to citizens and entities on the Mississippi Gulf Coast,” Wiggins said.

“Equally as significant, is that the legislature gives great deference to the Mississippi Gulf Coast legislative delegation in this process. My legislative colleagues from outside the Gulf Coast have always been accommodating in this process and I don’t see why that would change,” Wiggins said.