Fears that the State is going after Bay County's RESTORE Act funds are no longer a concern. The Gulf Consortium Committee of the 8 Disproportionately Affected Counties met at the State Capitol to discuss a bill that many counties feared would allow the State to control these funds.
Commissioner Mike Thomas represented Bay County in Tallahassee Monday.
The Gulf Consortium is the organization that represents the 23 spill affected counties. Members of the Consortium's 8 Disproportionately Affected Counties met in Tallahassee to discuss Senate Bill 1024. This is a bill that gave counties the impression that the state wants to decides how the RESTORE Act dollars are spent.
However, after Monday's meeting, Commissioner Mike Thomas says that amendments to the bill have removed any reference to RESTORE Act money, and now the consortium feels confident that the funds will be in the control of the counties.
"Everybody understands the need for oversight," says Thomas. "But when the law was written, it was put in such a way that the counties here that were affected the most would have some say so on how it was spent. I feel good that it will stay the same way."
The bill is placed on a special order calendar for Tuesday.