MONTGOMERY, Ala. — The Latest on a special session of the Alabama Legislature. (all times local):
Alabama lawmakers have decided how to spend the state’s settlement money from the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
State senators on Wednesday voted 22-8 for a compromise plan to use the money for a mixture of paying debts, funding Medicaid and building roads in coastal Alabama.
The bill now moves to Gov. Robert Bentley for his signature. The plan, if signed into law by the governor, will steer $400 million to repay state debt, $120 million to road projects and $120 million to Medicaid.
The approval came after two days of contentious debate and deadlock over how to spend the money. Some lawmakers pushed to steer more money to Medicaid, saying that was the more pressing need.
Senators adjourned the special session after approving the bill.
A conference committee will make a last-ditch effort to break a legislative deadlock on how to use Alabama’s settlement money from the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
The committee will meet Wednesday morning to try to broker an agreeable compromise between sharply divided lawmakers.
A House-passed plan would have sent $191 million to road projects in south Alabama and used $450 million to pay state debts. The Alabama Senate on Tuesday night voted to strip that road funding. Some senators argued the greater need was in the state’s Medicaid program.
The Senate plan would give $300 million to the state’s Medicaid program over the next three years and use $320 million to repay money borrowed during past budget shortfalls.
The conference committee meets at 9 a.m.