Welcome Guest
Log In | Register )
You last visited December 9, 2016, 6:28 am
All times shown are
Eastern Time (GMT-5:00)

Alabama Legislature seems unlikely to approve lottery

AlabamaAlabama: Alabama Legislature seems unlikely to approve lottery
52
Rating:

Like buying a Powerball ticket, establishing an Alabama lottery seems more likely to end in grief than gain.

Efforts to create a statewide lottery appear to be dead in the current session, despite a Senate committee's approval Thursday of an amendment that would put the question before voters. Procedural rules in the Legislature's final days are likely to make its passage much more difficult, and House version of the bill appears stalled.

But the Senate's sponsor and other legislators say the proposal will return in the future as lawmakers grapple with ongoing revenue shortfalls in the General Fund budget.

"It's not a new thing for me to come back next year if we're not successful," said Sen. Jim McClendon, R-Springville, the bill's sponsor, who fought for a state texting-while-driving ban for six years.

Despite its emergence from the Senate Tourism and Marketing committee, McClendon's proposal was not given a second reading on Thursday. That means it can't come to the floor until Wednesday at the earliest, by which time a procedural rule requiring the unanimous consent of the Senate to send bills to the lower chamber of the Legislature will have taken effect.

"I would say that bill is going to have a tough time getting to the House," Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh, R-Anniston, a sponsor of gambling legislation in the past, said Thursday.

The state's constitution bans lotteries, and Alabama is among a handful of states without one. Former Gov. Don Siegelman attempted to establish a state lottery to fund educational programs, but voters rejected it in a referendum in October 1999. Attempts to establish lotteries since then have failed.

McClendon's bill, like a version sponsored by Rep. Alan Harper, R-Northport, would allow voters to decide to establish a state lottery. Unlike earlier efforts at creating a lottery, the bills did not create methods for the distribution of proceeds or governance, leaving those questions to the Legislature. That proved a problem: even legislators sympathetic to a lottery hesitated to endorse a bill without distribution mechanisms.

McClendon said he was working on language to address distribution and governance of the lottery, and that it could be ready should Gov. Robert Bentley decide to call a special session to address Medicaid, which faces a shortfall.

The sponsor said money raised by the lottery could go to the General Fund, though those funds wouldn't be available immediately. It would take at least a year to establish a lottery after voter approval, if that comes.

"If a special session is called, if the governor decides to do that, the lottery bill will be ready," he said. "And it will be ready with some of these changes."

The big question is whether the Legislature will be ready. Harper's bill won approval from a House committee in February, but has stalled in the House amid general anti-gambling feeling. Bills to boost the legal status of the VictoryLand and Greenetrack casinos failed to emerge from the Senate in recent weeks.

Casino gaming will also be divisive. McClendon said he would kill the bill if he thought it could open the door to that in the state.

"That is not going to happen," he said. "I've gone through a great deal of effort to make sure we do not open any new doors out there."

House Democrats, who have long advocated a lottery for education, have said they won't back a lottery proposal that leaves out casino gambling.

"Instead of raising taxes, we're for voluntary taxes, and the only way to do that is open (gambling) up across the board," House Minority Leader Craig Ford, D-Gadsden, said Friday.

Senate Minority Leader Quinton Ross, D-Montgomery, was more cautious.

"We don't care who has it to make it palatable for everyone in the state and stop losing all types of revenue," he said. "It's an idea, our idea. Now the Republicans have taken up the mantle. We applaud that effort."

Lotteries post flat revenue growth, and experts have warned they may not provide a long-term fix for the General Fund problems. But with those problems coming back almost every year, Marsh said discussions on a lottery "are never over."

"These discussions... on Medicaid, these discussions on prisons, discussions on funding education — it all comes back at some point in time to 'Where's the money coming from?'" Marsh said. "A lottery is one of those sources of potential revenue."

Montgomery Advertiser

We'd love to see your comments here!  Register for a FREE membership — it takes just a few moments — and you'll be able to post comments here and on any of our forums. If you're already a member, you can Log In to post a comment.

12 comments. Last comment 7 months ago by dallascowboyfan.
Page 1 of 1

United States
Member #172415
January 23, 2016
3795 Posts
Offline
Posted: April 23, 2016, 11:55 am - IP Logged

No lotto in UNITED NATIVE AMERICA

    music*'s avatar - nw bookeep.jpg
    Happy California
    United States
    Member #157856
    August 2, 2014
    1522 Posts
    Offline
    Posted: April 23, 2016, 12:28 pm - IP Logged

    90% of Alabama's population will be missed when another record-breaking jackpot is created.  Go MM & PB!!US Flag

     I've been rich and I've been poor. Believe me, rich is better. 

     Attributed to Joe E. Lewis and others

      Groppo's avatar - cat anm.gif

      United States
      Member #162631
      January 7, 2015
      506 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: April 24, 2016, 3:25 am - IP Logged

      I think Alabamy should have a lotto, like everyone else.

      Now, I myself don't have much to do day in and day out.

      But the lotto, now, every day of the week, is a good diversion.

       

      Let's see, there's the:

      Monday and Thursday cash for life game.

      Tues and Friday Mega

      wed and saturday powerball

      Because of the lotto activity on those days, I gave up all other kinds of gambling.

      • Don't chase the numbers you play.
      • Play only numbers you've already played, plus however many random picks.
      • But, ALWAYS the regular numbers you play.  This will make you a winner, not a chaser.
                (so far, though, I've yet to win any significant lotto prize)
        Avatar
        Simpsonville
        United States
        Member #163189
        January 22, 2015
        677 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: April 24, 2016, 9:24 am - IP Logged

        I think Alabamy should have a lotto, like everyone else.

        Now, I myself don't have much to do day in and day out.

        But the lotto, now, every day of the week, is a good diversion.

         

        Let's see, there's the:

        Monday and Thursday cash for life game.

        Tues and Friday Mega

        wed and saturday powerball

        Because of the lotto activity on those days, I gave up all other kinds of gambling.

        LOL! 

         

        IF Alabama (and I emphasized if) ever got a lottery, no doubt they'd have scratchers, pick 3 & 4.

         

        Now if Mississippi ever got a lottery (insert laugh), Alabamanians would be surrounded by lottery states.  Lo and behold some current Bible belt states already have lotteries and lightning bolts haven't come out of the sky yet.

          Avatar
          Jacksonville
          United States
          Member #153806
          March 26, 2014
          345 Posts
          Offline
          Posted: April 25, 2016, 12:15 am - IP Logged

          As a resident of Florida, I hope Alabama does not create its own lottery.  We enjoy their residents buying our lotto tickets and funding Florida's education system.

            sully16's avatar - sharan
            Ringleader
            Michigan
            United States
            Member #81740
            October 28, 2009
            40561 Posts
            Offline
            Posted: April 25, 2016, 6:29 am - IP Logged

            As a resident of Florida, I hope Alabama does not create its own lottery.  We enjoy their residents buying our lotto tickets and funding Florida's education system.

            Looking on the bright side.

            Did you exchange a walk on part in the war ?

            For a lead role in a cage?

             

                                                        From Pink Floyd's " Wish you were here"

              Avatar
              Simpsonville
              United States
              Member #163189
              January 22, 2015
              677 Posts
              Offline
              Posted: April 25, 2016, 7:58 am - IP Logged

              Bet, pardon the pun, that border towns with Alabama make a killing off of AL residents.

              Just like Horseshoe Southern Indiana has many more KY cars than IN.  Deaf ears here too, horsing industry wants racinos--even Churchill Downs.  The casino is only 11 miles from downtown Louisville (38 for me).

                cbr$'s avatar - maren
                Cordova,Al.
                United States
                Member #104482
                January 15, 2011
                4925 Posts
                Online
                Posted: April 25, 2016, 10:34 am - IP Logged
                Well again a waste of ink & paper. ALA. Legislature don't want any gambling here. We
                won't hear about this again until the next election if at all. Forget Tourism in ALA. 
                Leave before dark. The ALA. Legislature had more then enough time to complete this
                bill. Months later it still in draft stage.
                  Nikkicute's avatar - nnjx1k
                  Wisconsin
                  United States
                  Member #123290
                  February 17, 2012
                  3052 Posts
                  Offline
                  Posted: April 26, 2016, 2:11 am - IP Logged

                  90% of Alabama's population will be missed when another record-breaking jackpot is created.  Go MM & PB!!US Flag

                  That's exactly what I was thinking! That Powerball jackpot is getting bigger, I hope it goes to half a billion again and seeing them cross the state line will make them change their minds.

                    Bondi Junction
                    Australia
                    Member #57242
                    December 24, 2007
                    1102 Posts
                    Offline
                    Posted: April 27, 2016, 9:48 am - IP Logged

                    Like buying a Powerball ticket, establishing an Alabama lottery seems more likely to end in grief than gain.

                    Efforts to create a statewide lottery appear to be dead in the current session, despite a Senate committee's approval Thursday of an amendment that would put the question before voters. Procedural rules in the Legislature's final days are likely to make its passage much more difficult, and House version of the bill appears stalled.

                    But the Senate's sponsor and other legislators say the proposal will return in the future as lawmakers grapple with ongoing revenue shortfalls in the General Fund budget.

                    "It's not a new thing for me to come back next year if we're not successful," said Sen. Jim McClendon, R-Springville, the bill's sponsor, who fought for a state texting-while-driving ban for six years.

                    Despite its emergence from the Senate Tourism and Marketing committee, McClendon's proposal was not given a second reading on Thursday. That means it can't come to the floor until Wednesday at the earliest, by which time a procedural rule requiring the unanimous consent of the Senate to send bills to the lower chamber of the Legislature will have taken effect.

                    "I would say that bill is going to have a tough time getting to the House," Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh, R-Anniston, a sponsor of gambling legislation in the past, said Thursday.

                    The state's constitution bans lotteries, and Alabama is among a handful of states without one. Former Gov. Don Siegelman attempted to establish a state lottery to fund educational programs, but voters rejected it in a referendum in October 1999. Attempts to establish lotteries since then have failed.

                    McClendon's bill, like a version sponsored by Rep. Alan Harper, R-Northport, would allow voters to decide to establish a state lottery. Unlike earlier efforts at creating a lottery, the bills did not create methods for the distribution of proceeds or governance, leaving those questions to the Legislature. That proved a problem: even legislators sympathetic to a lottery hesitated to endorse a bill without distribution mechanisms.

                    McClendon said he was working on language to address distribution and governance of the lottery, and that it could be ready should Gov. Robert Bentley decide to call a special session to address Medicaid, which faces a shortfall.

                    The sponsor said money raised by the lottery could go to the General Fund, though those funds wouldn't be available immediately. It would take at least a year to establish a lottery after voter approval, if that comes.

                    "If a special session is called, if the governor decides to do that, the lottery bill will be ready," he said. "And it will be ready with some of these changes."

                    The big question is whether the Legislature will be ready. Harper's bill won approval from a House committee in February, but has stalled in the House amid general anti-gambling feeling. Bills to boost the legal status of the VictoryLand and Greenetrack casinos failed to emerge from the Senate in recent weeks.

                    Casino gaming will also be divisive. McClendon said he would kill the bill if he thought it could open the door to that in the state.

                    "That is not going to happen," he said. "I've gone through a great deal of effort to make sure we do not open any new doors out there."

                    House Democrats, who have long advocated a lottery for education, have said they won't back a lottery proposal that leaves out casino gambling.

                    "Instead of raising taxes, we're for voluntary taxes, and the only way to do that is open (gambling) up across the board," House Minority Leader Craig Ford, D-Gadsden, said Friday.

                    Senate Minority Leader Quinton Ross, D-Montgomery, was more cautious.

                    "We don't care who has it to make it palatable for everyone in the state and stop losing all types of revenue," he said. "It's an idea, our idea. Now the Republicans have taken up the mantle. We applaud that effort."

                    Lotteries post flat revenue growth, and experts have warned they may not provide a long-term fix for the General Fund problems. But with those problems coming back almost every year, Marsh said discussions on a lottery "are never over."

                    "These discussions... on Medicaid, these discussions on prisons, discussions on funding education — it all comes back at some point in time to 'Where's the money coming from?'" Marsh said. "A lottery is one of those sources of potential revenue."

                    Alabamians can play a state lottery, just not an Alabama state lottery. The Massachusetts lottery has a subscription service, which is available across the United States, by phone. You don't have to reside in Massachusetts to participate.

                    We all get a lot out of lotteries!

                      Avatar
                      Baton Rouge, LA
                      United States
                      Member #4602
                      May 7, 2004
                      699 Posts
                      Offline
                      Posted: April 28, 2016, 10:28 pm - IP Logged

                      As a resident of Florida, I hope Alabama does not create its own lottery.  We enjoy their residents buying our lotto tickets and funding Florida's education system.

                      I feel the same way about Mississippi because I live in Louisiana.

                      I'm sure many Alabama residents also go to Georgia and Tennessee, and maybe some even come to Louisiana, who knows?

                      Prisoner Six

                      "I am not a number, I am a free man!"

                        dallascowboyfan's avatar - tiana the-princess-and-the-frog.jpg
                        Oklahoma
                        United States
                        Member #82391
                        November 12, 2009
                        6290 Posts
                        Offline
                        Posted: May 2, 2016, 11:04 am - IP Logged

                        Well that suxs  at least give the people Powerblla/Mega. Hopefully with the Powerball jackpot rising this may change their minds.

                        I Love Pink & Green 1908