A new authority set up by the Legislature to sell bonds backed by a BP oil spill settlement hopes to issue the bonds in about two months, officials said today.
“We want to bring the money forward as quickly as we can because the interest rates right now are so low that we’re going to get the most money we possibly can,” Gov. Robert Bentley said.
via New authority hopes to sell BP-backed bonds in two months | AL.com.
Another lawsuit challenging the funding for the new hotel and conference center at Gulf State Park has been dismissed.
Montgomery County Circuit Judge Greg Griffin today dismissed the lawsuit filed by State Auditor Jim Zeigler and state Rep. Johnny Mack Morrow, D-Red Bay, who alleged that the BP oil spill funds being used for the project were not authorized by the Legislature for that purpose.
Griffin ruled that Morrow and Zeigler lacked standing to bring the lawsuit.
via Judge dismisses lawsuit challenging funding for Gulf park hotel | AL.com.
Fifty-five million dollars to spend on three road projects, the continued four-laning of Highway 181, the widening of Highway 31 and expanding Canal Road on Pleasure Island. But not with 55 million dollars. Those three road projects are estimated to cost 125 million, 70 million more than what the legislature allocated from the state settlement with BP over the 2010 oil spill.
via $55 Million Won’t Cover Three Baldwin Co. Road Projects.
A lawyer on Tuesday criticized what he called Alabama’s plans to build a “Taj Mahal” beach hotel with oil spill settlement funds, while a lawyer for the governor urged a judge to dismiss the lawsuit seeking to block the project.
via Judge hears both sides in lawsuit challenging Gulf State Park hotel | AL.com.
A Montgomery judge on Tuesday morning will hold a hearing on a request to dismiss a lawsuit by State Auditor Jim Zeigler and state Rep. Johnny Mack Morrow challenging the use of certain BP oil spill funds to build a beach lodge and conference center at Gulf State Park.
Zeigler and Morrow claim the state is using money not authorized under the law the Legislature passed in 2013 initiating the park project.
via Judge to hear lawsuit against Gulf park beach hotel project | AL.com.
The U.S. 98 improvement project in Mobile County has been referred to as a road that leads to nowhere. Its extension into Mississippi, costing in the hundreds of millions of dollars, has been stalled for decades due to a lack of funding.
via How $120 million in BP money will tackle ‘Bloody 98′ and other priorities in coastal Alabama | AL.com.
BALDWIN COUNTY, Ala. (WPMI) — The news of the newly passed BP bill doesn’t sit well with all state officials. Alabama State Auditor Jim Zeigler spoke at an event in Daphne Thursday, saying the numbers don’t add up.
Zeigler Thursday also met with constituents in Fairhope.
via State Auditor Jim Zeigler comments on newly passed BP bill | WPMI.
After days of heated debate, the Alabama legislature passed the BP settlement bill and Governor Robert Bentley signed it into law the very next day.
via AL Governor Signs BP Settlement Bill; What That Means for Gulf Coast Roads.
BALDWIN COUNTY, Ala. (WPMI) — If Governor Bentley signs the current BP oil spill settlement bill Mobile and Baldwin counties will get $120 million.
That’s $71 million less than originally planned.
via Local leaders react to BP oil spill settlement bill | WPMI.
Two weeks after a State House stalemate killed any chance of an Alabama lottery, lawmakers passed a plan to provide a short-term boost for the budget and pay off $400 million in debt.
The plan uses most of a $1 billion oil spill settlement that BP is due to pay over 18 years.
via Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley calls BP bill ‘victory for the people’ | AL.com.
The University of Alabama System is poised to receive millions of dollars in funds from BP’s $1 billion oil spill settlement with the state via an agreement to help the state manage and oversee the Gulf State Park Enhancement Project.
via How the UA System stands to be paid millions of dollars to help manage the Gulf State Park project | AL.com.
After much debate, the state senate passed the conference committee version of the BP Settlement Bill. The bill just needs a signature from Governor Robert Bentley before it becomes a law.
via BP Settlement Bill Passes With Coastal Road Money ; Heads to Governor’s Desk.
The Alabama House and Senate have much different plans on how to spend most of a $1 billion settlement with BP for the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
This morning, a committee of three representatives and three senators will try to find a compromise.
via Alabama legislators try again to divvy up $1 billion BP settlement | AL.com.
The Alabama Senate voted to slash all of the $191 million that was originally allocated to the Gulf Coast for road projects in Senator Steve Clouse’s BP Settlement Bill.
via Senate Slashes Gulf Coast BP Money, Bill Heads to Conference Committee.
Alabama legislators debated today how to use a $1 billion oil spill settlement with BP, seeking common ground on how much should go to coastal counties and how much should go to paying off state debts and to Medicaid.
via Senators strip coastal roads from BP bill, add funds for Medicaid | AL.com.
Lawmakers are preparing to head back to Montgomery for the remainder of the special session.
Coastal legislators say they’re ready to fight tomorrow to make sure part of the state’s BP oil spill settlement gets to Mobile and Baldwin Counties.
via Coastal lawmakers gear up for BP bill battle in Montgomery – FOX10 News | WALA.
Lawmakers return to Montgomery a week from Tuesday, and Gulf Coast legislators are using the week-long break to strategize for the BP Settlement bill.
“We just don’t want to be run over,” Senator Bill Hightower said about their return to Montgomery. When the lottery bill failed last week, lawmakers started looking to the BP bill as a more permanent fix to Medicaid by nixing the current $191 million Gulf Coast portion.
via Southern Lawmakers Say They’ll Kill BP Bill if it Doesn’t Include Money For Coast.
When the BP Settlement bill was brought up in the state senate on Wednesday, one senator compared the debate to the Civil War.
Senator Rodger Smitherman, a Democrat from Birmingham, said “what you have here is a civil war. North vs. South. Then you have all the border states/counties in the middle,” Smitherman said. “so we’re going to be sitting back and watching.”
via Gulf Coast BP Money From State’s Billion Dollar Settlement Hinges on the Lottery.
MONTGOMERY, Ala. — The Alabama House of Representatives approved a plan Wednesday to use the state’s oil spill settlement money to pay back money borrowed during a past budget shortfall and for road projects in coastal counties.
via Alabama House OKs oil spill settlement bill | AL.com.
The Alabama House passed a bill that would allocate a majority of the BP oil spill settlement money to debt repayment and send about $191 million to the coast.
Coastal lawmakers have expressed that they believe this is a good compromise.
via Alabama House approves BP oil spill settlement bill – FOX10 News | WALA.
FOX10 News | WALA
Roads and bridges, that’s how Baldwin County planned to spend their share of BP settlement money coming to coastal counties. Baldwin County planned to continue to four-lane Highway 181, south to Highway 104, that’s been bogged down for more than a decade. They also wanted to continue to four-lane the Highway 31 corridor in Spanish Fort.
via Coastal BP Settlement Money Hits Roadblock.
Betting on Alabama lawmakers ending their special session with a lottery plan could be a chase after fool’s gold.
The better odds are that the Legislature walks out of Montgomery with a decision on how best to allocate the state’s BP oil spill settlement. At the very least, some lawmakers want to roll the dice on the topic.
via Fight over BP money, not lottery, could dominate special session | AL.com.
State Auditor Jim Zeigler has filed suit against Gov. Robert Bentley, saying Bentley is unlawfully spending BP grant money to build a conference center at Gulf State Park.
The lawsuit, filed in Montgomery Circuit Court, explains a law, which was signed by Bentley back in 2013, only allowed the money to be spent on the project until Dec. 31, 2015.
via State Auditor sues Gov. Bentley over BP money spending – FOX10 News | WALA.
FOX10 News | WALA
DAPHNE, Ala. (WPMI) — There are close to 3,000 homes in the Lake Forest Subdivision in Daphne. This subdivision is one Alabama’s largest and right at the center is “the lake.”
The process of restoring that lake is now underway. If you live in Lake Forest, you know the lake is the lifeline. If you don’t live in the neighborhood, it should matter too because what happens at the Lake Forest lake effects everything downstream, including Mobile Bay.
via Restoring the lake in the Lake Forest Subdivision | WPMI.
Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
Dr. Bob Shipp stood in amazement last weekend at the 83rd annual Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo (ADSFR) as he watched the frenetic activity on Dauphin Island.
Shipp, Professor Emeritus at the University of South Alabama’s Marine Sciences Department, never would have imagined the resilience of the Alabama Gulf Coast, its ecosystem and related recreational activities when he was sitting at Dauphin Island Sea Lab six years ago.
via Oil Spill Memories Fade at ADSFR, Dauphin Island | Outdoor Alabama.
Oil giant BP PLC has put a final price tag on what its catastrophic Gulf of Mexico oil spill cost the company, and it’s a hefty sum: $61.6 billion.
via 2010 Gulf oil spill cost BP $61.6 billion, company reports | AL.com.
An expert will share the latest on how the 2010 oil spill is affecting the Gulf Monday evening.
Dr. Monica Wilson is the Florida Sea Grant’s oil spill research extension specialist. She will talk about those discoveries, including finding from the Gulf Research Initiative.
via Presentation to discuss oil spill in Gulf | WEAR.
A judge has ruled that the former commissioner of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources has no standing to proceed with his lawsuit against Gov. Robert Bentley and others over the funding of the new hotel and other improvements at Gulf State Park.
Montgomery County Circuit Judge Truman Hobbs ruled today that Charles Grimsley lacks standing to proceed with the lawsuit because the money being used came from BP, and not taxpayers.
“Courts have refused to confer taxpayer standing upon citizens when the source of the funds was from the federal government or private entities,” Hobbs wrote.
via Judge rules lawsuit against Gulf State Park hotel due for dismissal | AL.com.
Waves of cash flowed into Baldwin County after the BP oil spill. Six years later almost all of the cities and towns have been paid for damages from that terrible summer in 2010.
Orange Beach reached a $15 million settlement earlier this week, the largest so far in the county. The mayor says the money will be used on roads and bridges.
via Breaking Down the BP Settlement Numbers in Baldwin County.
Alabama’s state auditor is once again sparring with Governor Robert Bentley. This time they’re at odds over BP settlement money.
Auditor Jim Zeigler is now taking legal action to stop the spending, asking a judge to intervene.
Work on the $135 million Gulf State Park project is expected to be done by summer 2018, but state auditor Jim Zeigler is taking issue with how the 350 room lodge and meeting area is being paid for.
via State Auditor spars with Gov. Bentley over BP settlement spending | WPMI.