WATCH: Sen. Reed discusses Alabama lottery, spending virus cash on prisons

Alabama News

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — State senator Greg Reed stopped by CBS 42 Morning News to provide an update surrounding the the discussions of bringing a lottery to the state of Alabama.

The republican senator spoke with CBS 42 Anchor Jack Royer about state lawmakers hesitation on voting to approve a lottery for Alabama. Reed said the back and forth between the decision of bringing a lottery system to Alabama has a lot to do with lawmakers not having a simple answer or plan to move forward.

In May, Alabama lawmakers ended the 2021 legislative session without a vote on a gambling bill. But according to CBS 42 Political Analysis Steve Flowers, discussions may soon pick back up.

A comprehensive gambling bill passed the Senate in the last session but ran out of time to be voted on in the House. The session wound down without a House vote on the Senate-passed lottery and casino bill. House leaders opted not to bring the bill up for debate on the busy final legislative day after negotiations fell apart earlier this month.

Alabamians last voted on the issue of gambling in 1999 when voters rejected then-Gov. Don Siegelman’s proposed lottery to fund education. Over the next two decades lawmakers made multiple attempts to pass a gambling bill but the efforts failed amid battles and turf wars over casino gambling.

Reed, a Jasper-native, also discussed the special session that ended last week as lawmakers voted to move forward on their prison plan they’ve been working on for months. Alabama lawmakers swiftly approved a plan Friday to tap $400 million from the American Rescue Plan to help build two super-size prisons, brushing off criticism from congressional Democrats that the money was not intended for such projects.

Reed represents Alabama’s 5th district, which includes Walker, Tuscaloosa, Fayette, Winston, and Jefferson Counties.

The full interview with Sen. Reed can be watched in the video player above.

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