Proposal: BP Settlement Money Going to Alabama State Debt, Coastal Roadways

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) – The House budget committee has approved a compromise bill dividing state settlement money from the BP oil spill – using the money to pay off state debts and pay for road projects in coastal counties.

The proposal would also help close most of a gap in next year’s Medicaid budget.

The committee approved a bill Wednesday to monetize the settlement by selling bonds. Much of the money, nearly $450 million, would pay back money borrowed during past budget shortfalls. An estimated $191 million would go for road projects at the coast.

Budget chairman Steve Clouse says it is a fair compromise that keeps the focus on repaying debts.

Clouse said the plan would free up $55 million for Medicaid. Medicaid officials said they needed $85 million more to maintain services next year.

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