Jindal agrees to $1B earmark of oil spill money
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Gov. Bobby Jindal has agreed to pour $1 billion in Gulf oil spill recovery money into Louisiana's "rainy day" fund and an elderly trust fund that was drained to plug budget gaps.
The governor's office announced Friday that Jindal signed the bill that contains the oil spill money plan, along with other short-term maneuvers to keep next year's budget balanced.
Louisiana is expected to receive as much as billions of dollars from BP to pay for the state's claims of economic damage caused by the massive 2010 spill. Those dollars are separate from other civil penalties from violations of environmental laws, money that's required to be set aside for coastal restoration and protection projects.
The claims are the subject of ongoing federal litigation, and it's unclear when any of the money might be available to the state.
Under the terms of the bill, when the economic recovery money is received:
—45 percent will go to the rainy day fund until that savings account reaches its cap, of which it is about $300 million short.
—45 percent will go to the Medicaid Trust for the Elderly, up to $700 million.
—10 percent will go to the Health Trust Fund, up to $30 million, to be used for home- and community-based services for the developmentally disabled.