You can put money on it: Arizona is likely to have a state lottery for the next 25 years.
The state House of Representatives on Monday voted to create a new lottery that would begin in mid-2012, when the current game expires.
The House support of Senate Bill 1004 follows the approval last week of the state Senate. The bill now goes to Gov. Jan Brewer, whose state budget plan relies on the lottery's continuation.
Lawmakers also sent SB1005 to Brewer, a change in how certain out-of-state tax filers must fill out their forms. The measure, which would collect income taxes from people who work in Arizona and take the standard tax deduction but live out of state, is expected to net the state an extra $22 million, beginning next year.
The House was expected to wrap up its sixth special session Monday. Instead, it delayed action on two bills that would authorize more borrowing to help balance this year's state budget.
House Speaker Kirk Adams, R-Mesa, said the remaining two bills, which would bring $1.2 billion to this year's state budget, are causing some heartburn among lawmakers leery of the state borrowing more.
"It's a lot of debt," he said.
The two measures breezed through the Senate in one day last week.
Despite the concern about debt, SB1003, which would allow the state to borrow against lottery proceeds and call for another sale of state buildings to investors, is scheduled to be debated today in the House. It would raise an estimated $750 million for the state's current-year budget, which has a $1.4 billion deficit.
Left unaddressed by House members is SB1002, which would delay state payments to the K-12 education system and state universities. If approved, it would leave those schools without any state payment for the last three months of their budget year, rolling the final monthly payments of $450 million to the next budget year.