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"Is that a concern of anyone besides me?" he asked the committee.

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Franklin County's representative, Commissioner Cheryl Sanders, was pleased with the additional amendments, as well, but she said she would have preferred the bill being killed last week when it was in committee.

new amendments were "great."

"And to use that kind of criteria to judge something to me looks like you're also once again positioning for failure," he said.

Sanders also was OK with the additional audit oversight on the RESTORE money.

"What concerns we had last week, I think were alleviated with the amendments," he said, noting it ensures the "purpose of the RESTORE Act is upheld."

Gulf Consortium officials meet about oil spill

The proposed Triumph Gulf Coast would receive 75 percent of the money the state gets through its "economic loss" lawsuit against BP and Halliburton. If the bill passes, the corporation would be managed by a five member board appointed by the governor, state chief financial officer, state attorney general, House speaker and Senate president.

me a level of comfort," she said.

Thomas also voiced his problem with forming the corporation to handle the litigation money. He raised the question of whether anyone appointed to the five member board would be from the eight disproportionately affected counties.

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Bay County's representative at the meeting, Commissioner Mike Thomas, expressed concern about the additional audits, a portion of which would look at how efficiently RESTORE money is spent.

public corporation the bill would create.

Thomas said there won't be overnight results after the money's spent, either economically or environmentally. He said it will be tough to gauge immediate success.

The Senate likely will vote today to remove all reference to the federal law in the bill (SB 1024). Converse Grey Some feared an earlier version of the bill was a state grab at the billions of dollars headed toward Florida's Panhandle counties under the RESTORE Act.

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Of the consortium's 23 counties, the eight disproportionately affected ones will receive 75 percent of Florida's RESTORE act money, paid out for civil penalties under the Clean Water Act.

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Sens. Greg Evers, R Baker; Jack Latvala, R Clearwater; and Bill Montford, D Tallahassee, brought the two amendments that would eliminate all mention of the RESTORE Act.

Thomas said the dollars spent on economic development could take "several years" before they translate into jobs.

TALLAHASSEE The Florida Senate has legislation pending that would assure local counties their RESTORE Act money is safe, but it wants additional oversight on those funds.

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"I drafted those amendments," said Sarah Bleakley, the consortium's lawyer. "I'm confident that those amendments effectively remove issues related to the RESTORE Act funds from the bill."

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Gulf County Commissioner Warren Yeager, who serves as chairman of the committee, said the Converse High Tops Black Womens

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The Gulf Consortium, an organization representing the 23 counties affected by the BP spill, helped craft them.

"We have to take what we can get," she said in an interview.

The Gulf Consortium's Committee of Eight Disproportionately Affected Counties was meeting Monday in Tallahassee to discuss the latest developments of SB 1024; the committee unanimously passed a resolution supporting the three amendments to the bill.

"I agree with the extra oversight to make sure we are crossing all t's and dotting all i's," she said.

"If we have no control over who's appointed, I at least wish they'd come from our area," Thomas said."If it (Triumph Gulf Coast) is formed, I certainly want people from Northwest Florida on it. We know what we need," she said in an interview. "Certainly people in our area know what we need better than say someone from downstate."

Comander said she also was happy about the added amendments, which eliminate reference to the RESTORE Act.

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But, Sen. Nancy Detert, R Venice, also filed an amendment that would require additional audits for local governments that receive and spend RESTORE Act money, as well as money from the Triumph Gulf Coast Inc., a quasi Converse Gray Shoes

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The state attorney general has filed a lawsuit for $5.5 billion against BP and Halliburton.

Sanders also said she didn't have a problem with the creation of the corporation for managing the lawsuit money, but she said the counties' money should be left alone.

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