Politics & Government

Special BP session would be bad for Coast, Reeves said

ROGELIO V. SOLIS/ASSOCIATED PRESS 
 Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves sits on the Joint Legislative Budget Committee and presides over the state Senate.
ROGELIO V. SOLIS/ASSOCIATED PRESS Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves sits on the Joint Legislative Budget Committee and presides over the state Senate. AP

Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves said a special session to discuss spending $110 million in BP settlement money is a bad idea for the Coast.

Some Coast lawmakers have been asking Gov. Phil Bryant for such a session and the governor has said it is a possibility.

He said keeping "the vast majority" of the BP spending on the Coast, which he supports, is tough enough in a regular session.

"When you start looking at people who live above I-10 and the number of votes they have in the Legislature, the numbers are a little daunting," he said.

A special session would magnify that disadvantage, Reeves said.

"That would be a bad mistake for South Mississippi," he said. "What ultimately would occur, you would take the BP money out of the context of the total budget and you would just shine a light on the BP money. As I have tried to convey to legislators on the Coast, to business leaders on the Coast that I have talked to, if it gets to Jackson and there is a straight up or down vote, there are more legislators who don't live on the Coast than there are that do.

"If you have a special session where the only issue is BP money, what you are asking is for legislators to vote for projects (on the Coast) and not fight for their own districts."

The result, he said, would be a lower percentage of BP money spent on the Coast.

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