Add the lottery to the special session coming on prisons
The lottery in Alabama failed. It was a slam dunk. The people want it, and the legislature couldn’t get it done.
The reasons for failure are numerous:
- The fight between dog track owners and the Poarch Band of Creek Indians
- The failure to agree on how much of the proceeds, if any, would go to the Education Trust Fund
- Medicaid expansion
- Free college tuition
- Virtual Lottery Terminals
Missing from that list is the moralizing that liberal commentators pretend dominates Alabama politics.
The people wanted it and politicians wanted it.
It seems obvious that any version of the lottery proposed by any politician would have the support of Alabamians.
I believe even if you offered a lottery in Alabama where the proceeds were split between Planned Parenthood and the Islamic State, it would pass.
Recently, State Senate Pro Tem Del Marsh (R-Anniston) said that he was disappointed the lottery was unable to pass.
He told Yellowhammer News as follows:
The one thing I wish had happened: at the end of the day, I wish I could’ve gotten to the people, the voters of this state, the opportunity to vote on a straight lottery.
The Senate passed that bill. It went to the House. Unfortunately, it never got up for a [final] vote in the House. I wish the people would’ve had that opportunity. And, it would’ve, in my opinion, eased some pressure on the state General Fund going forward.
There has to be a deal to be made here. The people of Alabama obviously want to be able to go down to their local convenience store and purchase their tickets. They don’t care that it is essentially a tax on the poor. They don’t care that the amount of revenue collected won’t pay for any of the proposed new spending.
The people just want a lottery and the politicians failed them.
This all came on the heels of a 10-cent a gallon gas tax and they still couldn’t deliver for the people of Alabama.
Now, we are looking at a potential special session for up to $900 million in prison spending.
Who wants that? No one.
What is stopping Governor Kay Ivey from adding a call for a lottery to the mix?
She should include the lottery, and the legislature should work to get it done.