MONTGOMERY — A proposal for a statewide lottery is in jeopardy in the Alabama House of Representatives, with advocates saying they will try to overcome objections from opponents and bring the bill up for debate again.
Supporters tried to revive the bill during the evening after it appeared dead when a procedural vote failed earlier in the day. Rep. Steve Clouse, R-Ozark, who is carrying the bill in the House, said he thought he had enough votes to at least get the bill back on the floor, but he fell short by one vote. He said negotiations are continuing and he will try to bring the bill back to the floor before the end of the session. Read more.
Alabama lawmakers this year have approved a statewide gas tax increase, told sheriffs they can’t keep money meant for feeding jail inmates and said they want a shot at the U.S. Supreme Court with the nation’s most restrictive abortion ban.
The Legislature has two to three weeks remaining in its 2019 session, and a lot of legislating is left to do. Still on the table are proposals for a lottery, the state’s budgets, education bills and medical marijuana, to name just the tip of the iceberg.
For a look at some of the major bills that are pending and what might get punted to a special session later this year, Read more.
The sponsor of legislation to create a paper lottery in Alabama says getting the bill to final passage may be difficult.
“It’s a rocky road between here and there,” Sen. Greg Albritton told Alabama Daily News.
The House Economic Development and Tourism Committee is expected to vote on Senate Bill 220 Wednesday afternoon. Read more.
A lottery proposal on the March 2020 primary ballot could increase Alabama’s voter participation in the presidential and U.S. Senate primaries.
“If this lottery bill is on the ballot on March the 3rd, you can expect another record-breaking turnout for a presidential primary,” Secretary of State John Merrill said this week.
“I think it certainly boosts turnout,” David Mowery, a political consultant in Montgomery said about a lottery. “But trying to figure out who it helps is interesting.” Read more.
MONTGOMERY — The Alabama Senate on Thursday passed a constitutional amendment calling for a statewide vote on a lottery.
Senate Bill 220, sponsored by Sen. Greg Albritton, R-Atmore, would put the question of establishing a lottery on the ballot in next March’s presidential primary, the nearest statewide election. The plan calls for a paper lottery and allows Alabama to participate in multi-state “Mega Millions” jackpots, among others.
The bill passed 21-12, which was the minimum vote total needed to secure Senate passage. The narrow vote came after more than three hours of intense floor debate and deliberation over amendments.
“I’m pleased, a little surprised and grateful it’s over,” Albritton said. “I came in fully anticipating this to be a very, very close vote, but we never had 21 votes in our head counts.