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Thu Feb 11 15:51:28 PST 2016
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Two lottery proposals will greet lawmakers when they convene legislative session
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Ken Curtis

There are two lottery proposals awaiting lawmakers when they begin their regular session next month. That’s nothing new for the Alabama legislature. State Senator Jim McClendon (R-Springville) and State Representative Alan Harper (R-Northport) Tuesday announced that they have introduced a constitutional amendment that, if passed by the Legislature and ratified by voters, would allow for the creation of a state lottery in Alabama. “This constitutional amendment simply provides the citizens of Alabama an opportunity to let their voices be heard on whether or not they want a lottery in Alabama,” Harper said. “Alabamians are traveling across our borders and spending their hard earned dollars to fund schools, senior services, roads, and ball parks in Georgia, Florida, and Tennessee. It’s time to stop the bleeding, allow folks to take an up or down vote, and keep Alabama dollars in Alabama.” The bill proposes an amendment to Section 65 of the Alabama Constitution allowing the Legislature to provide for a lottery to be operated on behalf of the state. According to estimates provided by the Legislative Fiscal Office, revenue from the lottery proposal could generate up to $300 million annually. The legislation does not make specific recommendations for how or whether the lottery revenue would be earmarked. McClendon said that can be debated by lawmakers next year if the constitutional amendment is wins legislative approval and, subsequently, is approved by voters in November. Meanwhile, Alabama House Minority Leader, Rep. Craig Ford (D-Gadsden), filed legislation today that would allow the people of Alabama to vote on a statewide lottery for education. If approved by voters, the proceeds from the lottery would be used to fund scholarships to Alabama’s two-year and four-year colleges. “This is the same lottery bill I have introduced every year for the last seven years, said Ford. “I believe there’s more support now than ever before for a lottery, but we have to make sure we do it the right way.” Both lottery proposals are likely to encounter strong opposition from the Republican controlled legislature. The legislature convenes February 2.


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