A set of bills that would use BP oil spill reparations to extend foster care from 18 years to 21 years of age advanced Monday to the full state Senate. Senate Bill 129 by Sen. Ryan Gatti, R-Bossier City, would allow teenagers to remain in foster care until they graduate high school or turn 21 years old, whichever comes first. Gatti said the extension would provide adolescents in foster care with a stable support system to ensure they’re adequately prepared to live independently. Gatti’s bill was first shelved in the Senate Finance Committee due to concerns over its roughly $961,000 general fund price tag. But SB129 was brought back up when Senate Finance Chair Eric LaFleur, D-Ville Platte, tied an amendment to his Senate Bill 555 to use securitized revenue from the BP disaster settlement to fund the program.

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