McClendon, Harper introduce lottery bill

Local News

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — State Senator Jim McClendon and State Representative Alan Harper announced they have introduced a constitutional amendment to create a state lottery in Alabama.

The amendment, which was introduced on Tuesday. would have to be passed by the Legislature and ratified by voters.

“This constitutional amendment simply provides the citizens of Alabama an opportunity to let their voices be heard on whether or not they want a lottery in Alabama,” Harper said. “Alabamians are traveling across our borders and spending their hard earned dollars to fund schools, senior services, roads, and ball parks in Georgia, Florida, and Tennessee. It’s time to stop the bleeding, allow folks to take an up or down vote, and keep Alabama dollars in Alabama.”

The bill proposes an amendment to Section 65 of the Alabama Constitution, which would allow the Legislature to provide for a lottery to be operated on behalf of the state. Estimates by the Legislative Fiscal office show that revenue generated from the lottery could be up to $300 million annually. There currently aren’t recommendations for how the revenue would be distributed or earmarked.

“I have heard from dozens of constituents in my district, asking for a chance to vote on a lottery,” McClendon remarked. “It makes no sense to have money siphoned away from Alabama to neighboring states. A lottery would bring millions of dollars to our state and could fund everything from new schools to repairing roads and bridges. Forty-four other states have a lottery: it is time to let the people of Alabama vote.”

Sponsors said they hope lawmakers approved their legislation in time for the amendment to appear on the 2016 election ballot. State Representative Craig Ford is pushing the education lottery bill, which would specify where the money would be allocated.

Copyright 2016 WIAT CBS 42

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