Recent news accounts suggest the lottery will be back in the legislature this session due to discussion of budget shortfalls. Sen. Barron (D-Fyffe) said, "I think we'll vote to let you vote on the lottery." Rep. John Rogers (D-Birmingham) indicated he would seek to introduce a constitutional amendment legalizing casinos and a lottery and Rep. Randy Hinshaw, (D- Meridianville) stated, "We're in the position now where nothing is off the table."
The Christian Coalition of Alabama distributes Candidate Survey Questionnaires every election cycle. In 2002, discussions of a perceived budget shortfall were already occurring when legislative candidates responded to the CCA questionnaire.
Christian Coalition of Alabama President John Giles stated: "Even if the people voted in a $5 billion tax increase last year, the gambling folks will always return annually to expand their market in Alabama. We have documentation, signed by House and Senate members that suggests any effort to legalize the lottery is dead on arrival. In the House we have 53 percent solidly against the lottery and in the Senate 54 percent. The best they can expect, even with the uncertain votes, is 47 percent supporting a lottery in the House and 46 percent in the Senate. Repealing the lottery prohibition will open the flood gate for statewide casino gambling, documented to be accompanied by illegal gambling operations, increased drug traffic, crime, white-collar crime including embezzlement, credit card theft and prostitution."
For the people of Alabama to vote on a constitutional amendment it must pass both houses of the Alabama Legislature by a 3/5 margin (60 percent). In the 1999 Regular Session, a constitutional amendment to repeal the lottery prohibition passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 70-31 (69 percent supporting, 31 percent opposed) and the Senate by a vote of 24-11 (68 percent supporting, 32 percent opposed). The lottery amendment then went to the people October 12, 1999 for a referendum vote. 672, 802 voted against the lottery and 568,289 voted for the lottery. The citizens of this state soundly rejected the lottery proposal by a vote of 54 percent to 46 percent, although polling data 30 days out from the election indicated approximately 60 percent of registered voters favored a lottery"
For a copy of the House and Senate pie chart showing the vote count and the documentation of legislator's position on the lottery, visit http://www.ccbama.org/Lottery2004.htm.