MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The Alabama Senate has stripped road projects from a bill preparing to spend the state’s oil spill settlement funds.
The bill is likely headed to a conference committee Tuesday evening where some lawmakers are expected to make a push to restore the road funds.
Lawmakers have been sharply divided over how to use the money meant to compensate the state for economic damages suffered during the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
Senators on Tuesday voted 21-9 for a plan to steer $300 million to the state’s Medicaid program and $320 million to repay money borrowed during past budget shortfalls. The Senate-passed bill did away with $191 million for road projects that south Alabama lawmakers had wanted for the oil-battered coast.
The bill now moves to the Alabama House of Representatives where it is expected to be sent to a conference committee.
Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh urged senators to be open to compromise.