Senate Appropriations Chairman Backs Gainer's BP Oil Spill Funds Legislation

BAY COUNTY, Fla. - If Northwest Florida is going to receive its fair share of money from the BP Oil Spill funds, it's going to need a little help from key players in the Florida Senate.
 
A bill by Senator George Gainer is already being backed by the Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman - Senator Jack Latvala. It's his first-ever piece of legislation and he filed it alongside two other Panhandle senators. 
 
Senate Bill 364 is meant to keep BP Oil Spill funds in Northwest Florida by clarifying that the funds go directly to Triumph Gulf Coast Inc. no later than 30 days after they are received by the Senate.
 
Senator Latvala says this kind of legislation is important because there is some concern that the $300 million owed to the eight disproportionately affected counties could get put into the state's general fund.
 
"We've promised that those counties affected would get the money to use on economic development within those counties and I'm going to do everything I can to make sure that happens that way," said Senator Jack Latvala, (R) Florida, Senate Appropriations Chairman.
 
Senator Latvala and Senator Gainer say they are optimistic that the bill will pass.
 
The bill will be brought up in the next legislative session which begins in March.

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