We knew this was coming. And the unwarranted raid on money from the BP settlement has begun.
The House passed by a wide margin a plan to spend $50 million of the BP money to repay bonds on statewide projects such as the repair of the state's highways and bridges.
That's a terrible idea.
Just ask Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves, who opposes the bill and has the power to kill it in the Senate. We suggest he kill it three times, then bury it just to be sure.
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"Some in the Legislature cannot resist their insatiable appetite to borrow and spend -- in this instance borrowing against future revenue and spending money that we have not even yet received," Reeves told the Associated Press last week. "I will continue to fight to spend the vast majority of this BP money in South Mississippi, and I feel certain that Coast legislators, both in the House and Senate, will join me in this effort."
Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jeff Smith hatched the plan up in Columbus, hundreds of miles from the nearest BP oil. He should know better.
Rep. Charles Busby did. He tried to limit the spending to the three coastal counties. The House wouldn't go along, though.
The roads and bridges throughout the state didn't fall into disrepair suddenly this year. And they certainly were not damaged by the oil disaster that occurred off the coast of Mississippi.
But the Coast was. There is still oil out there and the Coast will be feeling the effects of the disaster for years to come. That's what the money is for, to repair the damage caused by the millions of gallons of oil to our environment and our economy.
The Coast and its growing tourism industry has been very good for the state treasury. And we'll continue to be very good partners with the rest of the state, provided we nurture the natural beauty and the bountiful seafood that help attract countless visitors.
There is no place in the state that can match the Coast for its return on the investment of BP dollars.
This editorial represents the views of the Sun Herald editorial board. Opinions of columnists, and cartoonists are their own.