A bill that would bring a lottery to Wyoming made it past a second hurdle Thursday, prompting some to wonder how far it will go this year.
Similar bills in recent years haven't progressed far.
Rep. Wayne Reese, D-Cheyenne, said he thinks this year's legislation will make it through the House and be delivered to the Senate.
This year, as in the past, the argument for having a lottery is based in the amount of money that goes outside state lines as Wyoming residents drive to Nebraska, South Dakota, Montana, Idaho and Colorado to buy lottery tickets. For example, the highest-grossing lottery outlet in Colorado is 12 miles south of Cheyenne.
On Thursday, the House Appropriations Committee voted 6-2 to advance the lottery bill. That was after the House Travel, Recreation, Wildlife and Cultural Resources Committee voted 8-1 earlier in the week in favor of the bill.
The legislation would next head to the full House.
Monday is the deadline for bills to be read in either chamber - otherwise they are automatically killed.
House lawmakers expect to put in a long day today to get through a long list of bills.
The lottery bill would allow Wyoming to join the Multi-State Lottery Association and take part in the Powerball lottery by creating the Wyoming Lottery Corp.
Oversight would come from the Pari-Mutuel Commission, and the proceeds would go to early childhood development programs, senior services and state parks and historic sites.
Reese, minority floor leader in the House, attributed the bill's growing success to voters who have been talking to their legislators. "It will be a close vote in the Senate," he said.