MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) – The Alabama House of Representatives has approved a split of settlement money from the 2010 oil spill, under a plan that could also stave off Medicaid cuts next year.
Representatives approved the compromise bill Thursday on an 82-12 vote. It has two days to pass the Alabama Senate.
Instead of $1 billion paid out over 18 years, the Alabama general fund would get an estimated $639 million up front through a bond issue.
The state would use $450 million for debt payment and $191 million for road projects in coastal counties.
Budget chairman Steve Clouse said paying debts off early would provide $70 million of the $85 million Medicaid needs to avoid service cuts.
The bill was a compromise between lawmakers who wanted to pay debt and south Alabama legislators.