Gulf Counties Hold Emergency Meeting On RESTORE Act Funding
Monday, members from the eight Northwest Florida counties most affected by the BP Oil Spill held an emergency meeting. But a State Senate bill’s recent amendment could remove their power to spend RESTORE Act funding and they want control over the restoration process.
The amendment sets up a nonprofit corporation called Triumph Gulf Coast Inc. to disburse funds from the RESTORE Act – settlement money from the BP oil spill – to the affected counties. But Walton County Commissioner Sarah Comander, says this puts the affected counties out of the RESTORE Act discussion. So now they’ve got some amendments of their own to revert the bill to the way it was.
“Senator Latvala, Montford and Evers had filed two amendments, when taken together, will have the effect of removing all references to the RESTORE Act from the bill,” says Comander.
This effectively gives power over the funds back to the affected counties. The eight counties – apart of the Gulf Consortium – publicly voted in favor of those two amendments along with a third imposing extra audit requirements to spend RESTORE funding.