Alabama House Democrats Push Lottery, Tobacco Tax

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) -- Democrats in the Alabama House have announced their support for a state lottery referendum, six percent raise for public employees and a tobacco tax increase.

The House Democratic Caucus unveiled its agenda Tuesday. House Minority Leader Craig Ford of Gadsden says it's been 15 years since Alabama voters turned down a state lottery, and it's time for another statewide vote.

Rep. Joe Hubbard of Montgomery is sponsoring a $1-a-pack increase in the tobacco tax. He says it could help fund Medicaid and pay for a 6 percent raise for state employees and retirees.

The caucus is also pushing a 6 percent raise for education employees and retirees. That would be funded by ending private school tax credits and repealing a law that limits the growth in state education spending.

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